Lakeview Health Podcast with Desert Star Addiction Recovery Center
By: Lakeview Health Staff
Published: April 18, 2016

Amy Tilley, director of the chemical dependency intensive outpatient program at Desert Star Addiction Recovery Center, spent some time with us at the Lakeview Health, Jacksonville, Florida campus. During Amy’s visit, she met with Gina Thorne to talk about Desert Star, based in Tuscon, Arizona.

To learn more about Desert Star Addiction Recovery Center, visit their website.

Podcast Transcript

Gina Thorne: Hi everyone, this is Gina Thorne and welcome to the Lakeview podcast series. I am pleased today to be joined by Amy Tilley with Desert Star Recovery Center in Tucson, Arizona. Amy is visiting with us today all the way across the country and we are really excited to have you here. Amy Tilley: Thank you! Thank you for having me. Gina: So before we talk about Desert Star, I wanted to learn a little bit about your background. So can you tell me how you got into the field of addiction treatment? Amy: Yes, so in undergrad, I declared a psychology major and I never changed it. I had amazing professors I was able to learn under, then I went to graduate school in Chicago. For my internship, I really felt that I was lacking that piece of training working within the addiction field, so I had an internship that was predominantly working with an inpatient residential treatment facility for 12 months. I really enjoyed the challenges of the population and all of the different treatment techniques I was able to hone in on and learn from the other folks; the clinicians, the techs, from the person who answers the phone, to the kitchen staff, the therapists. I really enjoyed the population so I realized it’s a population I liked to work with and nine times out of 10 you’re getting someone that not only has a chemical addiction but also other health concerns so it’s a little bit of everything, so it’s challenging for me. Gina: That also fits nicely into what you do over at Desert Star. You run the Oasis program over there which is psychiatric, co-occurring, and addiction, correct? It’s IOP. Amy: Yeah, Desert Star Addiction Recovery is all intensive outpatient. We have four programs; the Oasis program is the co-occurring, chemical dependency, mental health program that I am in charge of. Gina: You’ve got a lot of variations. You’ve got the Mariposa program, the Grace program, you’ve got the Oasis program. So what are the differences between all of these programs at Desert Star? Amy: All the programs are either 8-12 weeks in length, depending on which program it is. Oasis is chemical dependency, mental health, four nights a week. Every client gets an individual therapist attached to them. Everybody has the option to see a nurse practitioner as well. It’s a 12-step based model, motivational therapy model, and cognitive behavior therapy. That program is all co-ed. The Grace program is the men’s program for sex and love addiction. So it’s single-gender for the 12 weeks that the guys are involved with the program. They get seven sessions of therapy and specialized treatment. Mariposa is the women’s healthy intimacy, and sex and love addiction treatment program. It’s an 8-week program and they get 4-5 therapy sessions and obviously single-gender there the whole time. The Mesquite eating disorders program is a 12-week program three times a week. Right now it’s co-ed. Sometimes it has been just women but right now its co-ed and working really well. We have a nutritionist on staff that they meet with once a week. They do outings like movie theater outings to learn how to order healthy at the concession stand… Gina: Is that even possible? To order healthy at a movie theater? Amy: Apparently, according to our nutritionist who goes with them, you can do it! Gina: Ok! Amy: Yeah they tend to order the kid popcorn kind of thing without butter. Popcorn by itself is actually really healthy before you add butter and seasoning to it. They actually do a restaurant outing, too, about once a month. So they’ll go into somewhere like Pey Wey or Chipotle or some local place in town and learn how to order from the menu in a healthy way and work on triggers that might come up. Gina: Well that sounds great and it sounds like you’ve got great diversity. Are your programs typically full? I would imagine with that type of specialty, you’ve got a lot of folks that would be engaged. Amy: Yes, they are generally full. We do have open-enrolling admissions. My program is a 10-week program of topics so if you come in on Week 6 you’re going to run through six, seven, eight, nine, 10, one, two, three, four, five and you’re not going to miss a topic so it works the same way all the other programs do. Oasis is generally 22-26 people at any given time and that’s between two tracks. We have day and nighttime tracks depending on someone’s schedule. Mariposa runs about eight women at a time and the Grace guy’s program varies. It’s usually anywhere from 2-8 depending on who our referents are and the Mesquite program usually runs about seven. Gina: Well good! So this is your first time visiting us in Jacksonville, so what’s your thoughts on Lakeview? Amy: I’m very impressed. I really like the facility, the staff is amazing! The programming that I learned about is really in depth. I particularly like the detox facility. You do detox here onsite which is huge and I’m always looking for something like that for somebody who needs that. But even the programming itself is amazing and it sounds like the clinical team has done a really good job with keeping people busy with a varied amount of activity so I would definitely refer someone here. Gina: Well we appreciate you taking the time to come all the way across the country to visit with us. If someone is trying to get access to treatment at Desert Star, how would they get in touch with you? Amy: Sure, they can call me directly or go to our website. Gina: Very good! Well thank you, Amy for taking the time. We appreciate it! For those of you interested in learning more about Lakeview Health, we invite you to visit us at or you can contact us at 866-460-8416.