The Resilience Regiment

Voices in Recovery

The Journey to Wellness Starts Here

The Resilience Regiment talks to Sierra Tucson

Posted Mar 08, 2016

Courtesy of Sierra Tucson
Source: Courtesy of Sierra Tucson

There are many tools for tackling addiction and the disorders that burden many people in recovery. Arizona's Sierra Tucson is flexible in its approach, employing traditional therapy, cutting-edge techniques, and holistic exercises in the treatment of its residents, says Chief Medical Officer Michael V. Genovese, MD, JD. It also maintains connections with its alumni after the program is complete.

Is there a condition that you've had particular success treating? If so, why?

For over 32 years, Sierra Tucson has experienced great success in treating addictions with co-occurring psychiatric disorders, including depression and anxiety. We are accredited by The Joint Commission and licensed as both a special hospital and a behavioral health residential treatment center, which means we can assist individuals with primary diagnoses for mood disorders, eating disorders, and other mental health conditions.

By utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, we treat the whole person, not just the addiction. For those individuals who require initial stabilization services prior to engaging in a residential program, Sierra Tucson features Desert Flower Hospital on campus. This onsite special hospital supplies medically supervised detoxification services so that the toxins that have kept our patients ensconced in the vicious cycle of addiction can be cleansed from their bodies, thus initiating recovery and allowing these individuals to fully engage in the therapeutic process.

Please share one or two factors that distinguish your program.

Sierra Tucson does an exceptional job of integrating traditional modalities, such as psychotherapy, with the latest medical science, like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and pharmacogenomic testing to optimize medication choices. Our academic affiliations with the University of Arizona and Midwestern University foster an atmosphere conducive to ongoing intellectual curiosity that ultimately benefits our residents.

Sierra Tucson employs a complete medical model with a 24/7 nursing staff, integrative therapies, multiple full-time psychiatrists, and dedicated therapists. Situated on a serene 160-acre campus setting, residents receive comprehensive care by medical and clinical staff. The treatment modalities utilized within all of our core programs are evidence-based and support each resident’s capacity to achieve wellness.

How can a family member or friend effectively raise the possibility of residential treatment?

When someone you love is struggling with a behavioral or mental health disorder that requires residential care, one difficult conversation is a price worth paying. The good news is that with proper preparation, the talk may go much more smoothly than you anticipate, and the result may change or save your loved one’s life.

There are a few important issues to consider when preparing to talk to your loved one about getting treatment. In summary, they are:

• Practice empathy and be compassionate

• Do not accept or make excuses

• Be honest

• Do not be judgmental

• Be specific

• Do not ‘pile’ it on

• Have a plan and follow through with it

At Sierra Tucson, you can take comfort that our residents are at the center of a comprehensive treatment program that provides compassionate care and clinical excellence. Within a natural healing environment, their journey is tailored to their individual needs.

Is there a stereotype or misconception about your program that you'd like to address?

Many have inaccurately perceived our treatment facility strictly as ‘holistic’ or ‘luxury.’ The Sierra Tucson Model® uses an innovative comprehensive approach emphasizing strong diagnostics, research-backed techniques, and a holistic path with a strong focus on the whole person. We do offer many integrative modalities such as Acupuncture, Neurofeedback and Biofeedback, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Yoga, Chiropractic, Zero Balancing, and Therapeutic Massage. We also provide cutting-edge, scientific medical care including Neuromodulation, Pharmacology, and Pharmacogenomics Testing, alongside a strong core Therapeutic Program. Each resident’s physical health is addressed with the support of Sierra Tucson’s Nutrition Department and Naturopathic Physicians. He or she is scheduled for our Therapeutic Recreational Activities Program, including Equine-Assisted Therapy, Challenge Course, and Fitness Center.

Do you keep in touch with the people you serve, either formally or informally?

Yes, we recognize and comprehend the significance of continuing care and lifetime support as key components for a successful recovery and living a healthy lifestyle of our residents post-treatment. Sierra Tucson provides a strong Alumni Relations Program and Continuing Care Support Groups as a complimentary service to our alumni throughout the country.

Sierra Tucson’s Connect365 Program helps to bridge the gap between residential treatment and life in recovery. Together with a Recovery Coach, the participant is equipped with a support team, a recovery management system, and structure and accountability for one full year following treatment.

Our alumni coordinators follow up with alumni regularly to provide ongoing support and resources. To further encourage our alumni, Sierra Tucson offers Alumni and Continuing Care Support Groups, workshops, alumni dinners, an annual Alumni Retreat, and a monthly alumni email bulletin, “Beyond the Miracle.”

Does your center have a motto that has been helpful or inspirational to the people you work with?

Sierra Tucson, Where Change Begins ®. Our residents are admitted to Sierra Tucson with hope and the opportunity to heal. Recovery and healing are part of a continuing process of healthy changes encompassing our residents’ physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Sierra Tucson provides an environment and a philosophy to enable and inspire the journey of change to begin, and the encouragement for continuing growth and success moving forward. This supportive path has led to recovery for tens of thousands of people who have struggled with alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, chronic pain, and other disorders.

We are firmly committed to the Sierra Tucson Model® of treatment, which recognizes that we all exist as mind, body, spirit, and emotions. Our experiences and successes in residential treatment help individuals move beyond underlying problems and into authentic, lasting recovery.

For more information on this facility, visit:

Courtesy of Sierra Tucson
Source: Courtesy of Sierra Tucson

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