Desert Star Addiction Recovery Center

Richard Poppy, executive director and owner of Desert Star Addiction Recovery Center, has the philosophy that in treating an addiction, he wants people to understand it is an illness, not a moral failure or due to a lack of self control.

Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

Throughout history, the Sonoran Desert has come to represent an oasis of healing. It creates an ideal environment in which to find one’s sense of inner peace.

In keeping with this legacy, Oro Valley’s Desert Star Addiction Recovery Center opened its doors three years ago, and has since helped many throughout Southern Arizona to overcome addiction by changing the way in which such misfortunes are perceived.

Richard Poppy, a licensed substance abuse counselor and owner of Desert Star, asserts that one of the Center’s priorities is to “show that addiction is an illness, not a moral failure.”

One of the ways in which this goal is achieved is by creating at its facilities a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere that replicates the comfortable mood of being in one’s own home.

In establishing Desert Star, Poppy made certain to foster these qualities so that getting help would no longer have to be equated with the unattractive, punishing ambience of most addiction facilities.

Because it is an outpatient recovery center, Desert Star receives patients when they are perhaps at their most vulnerable, which Poppy explains is during periods of transition between the different levels of care.

“We frequently compare (recovery) to training for a marathon,”  said Poppy. “In that the most difficult moments pose both the highest risk for relapse, as well as the greatest opportunity for breakthrough.”

In order to maximize the efforts toward a full recovery, Desert Star bases its treatment in providing a well-rounded composite of different therapies tailored to the specific needs of each individual patient. These needs are generally determined through an education program, which aims to elucidate to patients the underlying causes of their addictions, so that they may be on the path to healing not only their bad habits, but to setting their entire lives onto a more peaceful path.

With a staff of therapists, counselors and psychologists specializing in a wide array of addictions and disorders, Desert Star hopes to equip each outpatient with the tools and guidance to help themselves, and to gain control of their own lives in as independent a manner as possible.

As a young and ever-growing business, Desert Star regularly adds new treatments to its already impressively full roster of services.

Desert Star Addiction Recovery Center is located at 7493 N. Oracle Rd. Ste. 203. Please call 638-6000 or visit for more information.

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