Learn / Desert Rehab: A Peek Inside Arizona’s Most Luxurious Treatment Centers
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Arizona’s warm climate, distinctive desert scenery, and unforgettable natural wonders have made it a sought-after destination since the 1920s. Its red-rock landscapes marked by canyons, boulders, and giant saguaro cacti serve as the perfect backdrop for getaways to its tasteful ranches and resorts. Nowadays, the same features attract rehab clients from surrounding metro areas as well as from across the U.S. and beyond, who find relief from dreary weather and the pressures of city life under its endless skies.
Arizona consistently stands out as a top rehab destination, and for good reason. Rehabs here demonstrate high standards of clinical care, as do some of the country’s leading detox programs. Clients enjoy uninterrupted privacy on spacious grounds, which also make room for a lineup of plush facilities ranging from movie theaters to putting greens.
Residential rehab in Arizona includes plenty of time outdoors, whether lounging by the pool or dining al fresco. Local culture and heritage play into the spiritual components and holistic therapy offerings found at many treatment programs–excursions may even include a visit to an energy vortex known for its reputed ability to accelerate healing. And those in search of equine therapy will find plenty on offer, as virtually all of Arizona is horse country and centers’ generous acreage allows for boarding and trail access.
If you’re looking for recovery in comfort, surrounded by serene scenery and a laid-back local culture, Arizona could be the place for you.
Arizona is ranked as the 4th best state for healthcare quality1 by U.S. News. This caliber of care is reflected in the quality found at luxury addiction treatment centers here. Well-established facilities offer programs run by highly trained clinicians with top-notch clinical oversight. A wide array of specialized programs are on offer, including some for specific client groups such as veterans and pregnant women, meaning those in need of a specific type of treatment have a good chance of finding what they’re looking for.
The Hope House in Scottsdale defines luxury rehab as “access to highly qualified clinicians, a multifaceted list of therapy options, and the space and privacy to recover from addiction.” For those recovering from alcohol or opioid dependency, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is overseen by qualified medical professionals and integrated with the larger clinical program. Specialized treatment here includes an executive program to accommodate those who need to continue working while in rehab, and dual diagnosis treatment to address co-occurring addiction and mental health conditions.
Treatment is delivered via a customized plan, tailored to each client’s needs and designed to address underlying issues like unresolved trauma. Hope House’s Nurse Practitioner Alex Spritzer elaborates:
“We have clinicians that are trained specifically to treat trauma…We use different approaches: cognitive behavioral approaches, dialectic behavioral approaches, and other novel evidence-based treatments, such as EMDR. Each client is assessed and given an opportunity to be evaluated. From that evaluation, we develop a custom care plan.”
Sierra Tuscon, a psychiatric hospital and treatment center with over 37 years in business, employs masters- and PhD-level clinicians to guide clients through their individual treatment plans. Their Sierra Tucson Model® operates on the principle that “all of us exist as mind, body, spirit, and emotions,” and includes optional family therapy. Specialized programs here include treatment for eating disorders, chronic pain, maternal mental health, LGBTQIA+ clients, and a Red White and Blue recovery program for first responders and military service members. Programs are delivered by robust teams of medical and clinical professionals, as well as integrative and experiential therapists.
Sierra Tucson’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jasleen Chhatwal attributes the program’s effectiveness to their use of various modalities, like the combination of allopathic and integrative medicine:
“We don’t just use one type of treatment or the other. And we typically layer treatments that are effective and evidence-based to help people recover their lives.”
Soberman’s Estate is a men-only residential treatment center in Cave Creek, Arizona–or as it’s known locally, the Shadow of the Saguaro. Clients here attend 3 to 5 hours of individual therapy sessions per week, in addition to daily group sessions. Small group sizes and a gender-specific model allow for plenty of personal attention and opportunities to build trusting relationships with peers.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mitch Prager says clients at Soberman’s benefit from a multitude of therapeutic aspects:
“Good food, good exercise, and good nutrition all supplement our incredible clinical program. We have 2 psychiatrists, a psychologist, 2 licensed professional counselors, 3 registered nurses. We have a team of 20 professionals to serve between 5 and 10 clients. So the programming here is really unmatched, as well as this beautiful property.”
The center also gives clients the opportunity to attend to business while in treatment if needed.
Arizona is also home to some of the most reputable luxury detox programs in the U.S.
Gallus Detox Centers is highly respected in the addiction treatment community for their clinical expertise and high level of care. Their proprietary Gallus Method, developed by founder Dr. Patrick Gallus, allows patients to move through the process faster than they typically would at a standard detox center. Laura Herrmann, Gallus’ Marketing and Outreach Director, explains:
“We use IV medication instead of oral medication, which allows us to keep our patients extremely comfortable. It also shortens the length of stay. Generally, standard detox takes about 5-7 days. At Gallus, because of the IV medication that we use and our restful and peaceful environment, the length of stay for alcohol detox is 3-5 days.”
Clients come from across the country to detox at Gallus, even when they plan to follow up with residential treatment in another state. This is due to their exceptional clinical standards and ability to take severe cases. Hermann says,
“We have a full amount of medical equipment that you would find in a hospital. We have telemetry (remote monitoring of vital signs). We have everything here so that people with higher co-occurring medical disorders can also come and be with us. Everything in the facility is anti-ligature. We do that because we have the ability to take higher levels of medical, psychological, and behavioral acuity, which means if somebody comes to us with suicidal ideation, they can be with us safely because there’s nothing here to help them self-harm.”
Treatment takes place in a discreet, comfortable setting with hotel-like rooms and privileges like working remotely and ordering food from local restaurants.
Scottsdale Detox offers medical detox treatments to help patients withdraw from substances safely, comfortably, and effectively. Staffed by board-certified medical providers and master’s-level clinical therapists, the center takes a comprehensive approach that includes management of co-existing medical conditions. Clients also have the option to attend one-on-one and group counseling sessions.
Run by Soul Surgery Rehab, the Silkworth Detox Center takes a holistic approach to detox, using a combination of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), integrative medicine, and therapeutic techniques. A team of professionals including a naturopathic doctor leads patients through a tailored treatment plan based on their initial assessment, and integration with Soul Surgery Rehab means a supported transition to residential care.
All of these centers are staffed by doctors and nurses who are specially trained in substance detox and provide round-the-clock care. Unlike hospitals, luxury detox centers place more focus on comfort and privacy, with quiet rooms and full amenities.
See our guide to drug and alcohol detox for more information on what to expect from this process.
Arizona’s abundance of open space means rehabs here are often situated on large campuses with room for one-of-a-kind amenities and added treatment options.
Arizona’s wealth of open spaces, scenic riding opportunities, and proud cowboy heritage make it a fantastic home for the 177,000 horses that live in the state. A plethora of rehabs in Arizona offer equine therapy, which can have a powerful impact on clients’ treatment experience.
Soberman’s Estate‘s Equine & Meditation Coach Janice Story explains that horses can create opportunities for people to move past emotional blocks in ways that traditional talk therapy sometimes can’t:
“A lot of the clients, when they come in, don’t know how to feel their emotions. And sometimes they really don’t know what some of their underlying traumas are. And the horses have a natural ability to bring that out in people. They really create that safe space.”
These sprawling desert campuses also allow rehabs to house other animals such as dogs and Sierra Tucson’s full-time resident Sheldon the Therapy Tortoise.
Arizona’s spaciousness enables luxury rehabs in this region to give clients a treatment experience in comfort and style. Most campuses offer views of the surrounding desert, where clients can take in awe-inspiring sunsets and make the most of facilities like these:
Roomy accommodations may feature balconies or private outdoor space, and are often appointed with Southwest-style art and furnishings. A hallmark of this architectural style is the use of natural elements indoors, which is proven to reduce stress and anxiety.2
Arizona rehab centers’ acreage also allows them to purpose-build facilities for specific use in treatment. The Sanctuary at Sedona’s on-campus IV drip clinic, for example, provides an integrated space where naturopathic and medical teams administer ketamine therapy, as well as NAD+ and other vitamin therapies, to support clients in post-detox and treatment.
Home to Monument Valley, Cathedral Rock, and cultural sites like the Anasazi cliff dwellings, Arizona offers no shortage of incredible outdoor experiences. Treatment professionals have long known about the benefits of immersion in nature for mental health,3 and addiction treatment centers here incorporate a healthy dose of it into their programming.
Activities and excursions can serve as a transformative part of the rehab experience, as they give clients opportunities to discover new passions, form healthy habits, and reconnect with the world around them. Almost all Arizona luxury rehabs offer some type of activity each week, and many include an excursion or two. These might include hiking, biking, kayaking, or other adventure outings in the desert, which are proven to be just as beneficial as greenscape walks.4
Arizona’s reputation as a healing mecca5 is influenced by its landscape and local culture. Deserts have long been associated with spiritual journeys and mysticism. The region’s lands are revered as sacred by its Native peoples. It’s also known among new-age communities as home to several power spots: places on the Earth with increased energetic potency, such as the energy vortices scattered around Sedona.6 This also means the state attracts talented healers from around the globe–a boon for those interested in alternative treatment modalities.
It’s common to find cultural elements in use at Arizona treatment facilities. Soberman’s Estate invites clients on a meditative walk through its labyrinth each day at sunrise and sunset. Sierra Tucson holds healing burning ceremonies in their kiva. And The Sanctuary at Sedona facilitates weekly ceremonies in their sweat lodge.
Dr. Chhatwal describes how the larger culture benefits Sierra Tucson’s clients:
“I always tell people that Tucson is a mystical place. It has a very serene, local and community vibe to it. So when it comes to Sierra Tucson, all the people who are working here also demonstrate and show that same vibe where they’re very focused on the community here. And that I think is what makes our treatment center and location unique.”
There’s much more to the rehab experience than just clinical care. Comfort, surroundings, and access to amenities and activities that help you feel well all come together to facilitate healing.
Clients at Arizona’s luxury rehabs often find that the occasions it offers to quiet their minds and connect with the surrounding environment makes them more receptive to the treatment process. And many find that exposure to a wide variety of holistic therapies gives them a chance to discover something that resonates with them and helps them along their journey to recovery.
If you’re looking for an addiction treatment program that combines high-level clinical care with mind-body-spirit healing in a quiet, comfortable space, Arizona has a number of options for you.
Private rehabs in Arizona cover the full spectrum of addiction treatment, including detox, inpatient and outpatient treatment, individual and group therapy, holistic therapies, and aftercare support.
Luxury rehabs in Arizona offer a wide range of amenities and services, like private accommodations, gourmet meals, spa treatments, and outdoor recreational activities. Generous amenities create a comfortable and relaxing environment for recovery.
Look at the qualifications and experience of the treatment team, the evidence-based therapies offered, the holistic approach to healing, and the quality of the accommodations. You might also look for a program that personalizes treatment plans to meet your specific needs.
U.S. News. "Health Care Quality Rankings." https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/health-care/healthcare-quality
“Effects of Biophilic Indoor Environment on Stress and Anxiety Recovery: A between-Subjects Experiment in Virtual Reality.” Environment International, vol. 136, Mar. 2020, p. 105427. www.sciencedirect.com, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.105427.
“Ecopsychology: How Immersion in Nature Benefits Your Health.” Yale E360, https://e360.yale.edu/features/ecopsychology-how-immersion-in-nature-benefits-your-health. Accessed 14 Aug. 2021.
Navalta, James W., et al. “Effect of Exercise in a Desert Environment on Physiological and Subjective Measures.” International Journal of Environmental Health Research, vol. 31, no. 2, Feb. 2021, pp. 121–31. Taylor and Francis+NEJM, https://doi.org/10.1080/09603123.2019.1631961.
Coats, Curtis. “Sedona, Arizona: New Age Pilgrim‐Tourist Destination.” CrossCurrents, vol. 59, no. 3, 2009, pp. 383–89.
“Sedona Chamber of Commerce.” Visit Sedona, https://visitsedona.com/blog/what-is-a-vortex/. Accessed 14 Aug. 2021.
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