Desert Cove Recovery in Scottsdale, AZ

Overall Rating

(4 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
15170 N. Hayden Road Suite 4
Scottsdale AZ 85260

Desert Cove Recovery Philosophy

Desert Cove Recovery believes in providing holistic care and treatment for chemical dependency, and alcohol addiction and co-occurring/dual diagnosed disorders. By clearly identifying our clients’ specific needs, we can offer client-centered treatment in a safe, nurturing, and educational environment.

Treating addiction through the body, mind and spirit, along with focusing on any underlying issues, offers our patients the best chance to recover. Furthermore, it provides them with the tools necessary to continue living in sobriety leaving the Desert Cove Recovery Center.

Our program blends traditional treatment models, which include; cognitive behavior therapy, dialectic behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and trauma resolution. Guided by the 12-Steps and with a strong emphasis on accountability and integrity, our approach is designed to treat not only the addiction itself but also provide spiritual enhancement, social responsibility, and living skills to our guests.

Read more about our Holistic Treatment Programs here.

Learn how to respond to life rather than to react to life.

Call today to learn more about how our addiction treatment philosophies have helped hundreds recover from drug and alcohol addiction.

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Areas of Specialization

  • Medical Detoxification
    Drugs and alcohol have widespread effects throughout your body, including but not limited to the addiction and/or physical/psychological dependence that develops with substance abuse over time. Many organ systems are affected by addiction and will react to withdrawal. The term “medical detoxification” means that there is a trained and licensed medical professional onsite to monitor your vital signs and protect your physical and emotional health as your body goes through withdrawal.

  • Client & Family Support Groups
    Group therapy is a vital component of addiction recovery treatment, considered as important and effective (sometimes even more so) than individual therapy. Benefits include reducing isolation and loneliness and providing the opportunity to learn from others in recovery. In the addiction setting, group therapy is run by trained professionals who guide participants toward a shared goal of recovery.

Facility Highlights

Help is Available 24/7

A+ BBB Rating

JCAHO Accredited

Meet the Staff

Blake Nichols

Director of Operations

Photo of Blake Nichols

After battling with his own addiction to drugs and alcohol, Blake was given the gift of Recovery at the age of 23. Soon thereafter, Blake altered his career path in order to work in drug and alcohol treatment. Since 2008, Blake has dedicated his life to the addiction field, gaining experience in all aspects of treatment including direct care, admissions and marketing, as well as administration positions. Blake’s greatest reward is being a part of the transformation that occurs when a patient arrives in treatment, and through hard work and the Miracle of recovery, emerges a confident and capable person who is ready to carry the message of recovery.

Michael Carlton, MD

Medical Director

Photo of Michael Carlton, MD

As the CEO and Founder of Phoenix Recovery, Dr. Carlton has admitting privileges at all the major Phoenix-based hospitals and can provide detox services when needed. Certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Dr. Carlton has the knowledge to diagnose and treat specific problems and to manage addictive disorders, having cared for more than 25,000 individuals withdrawing from drugs and alcohol. Dr. Carlton completed his four year dual residency training in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and two years of a specialty fellowship in Medical and Industrial Toxicology. He has over a decade of experience in the treatment of addiction and has given educational lectures and seminars throughout the Southwest. Dr. Carlton has published numerous articles and has extensive knowledge in the fields of Addiction, Toxicology, and Medicine. 360 Guide

Review by Contributors


From a business park next to the Scottsdale Airport in the north of the Arizona desert city of Scottsdale, Desert Cove Recovery offers residential treatment for adult men and women who are struggling alcoholism, drug addiction, and dual diagnosis. The center specializes in treating individuals who have struggled with chronic relapse or who need something more than the typical 30-day stay in residential care: treatment is available in increments of 30, 60, and 90 days.

Medical detox is not available on-site, but Desert Cove can provide referrals to its local detox partners, when necessary.


Treatment uses the 12-Steps, couched in a broad, holistic program that includes, for instance, outdoor therapies and evidence-based methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical motivation interviewing, and trauma resolution. The buildings blocks of treatment are individual and small-group therapy, each offered in the context of the 12-step method. The center's primary holistic therapy is equine therapy, offered bi-monthly.

Desert Cove employs dedicated aftercare therapists who help clients to develop relapse-prevention plans and can provide referrals to sober-living facilities, when necessary. Graduating clients are also encouraged to attend aftercare meetings at Desert Cove, and to be active in their local 12-step community.


Staff includes an MD who's certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, a registered nurse, a licensed substance abuse counselor, and therapists educated to master's or bachelor's level. Several staff members have personal experience of addiction.


Pictures published by Desert Cove Recovery show a bright, modern facility. All seven of the individuals polled by to date on the center's accommodations gave them a four- or five-star rating.


Of the five alumni polled by to date, four gave positive feedback and one, mostly positive with some reservations.

The reviewers repeatedly praised the staff and the level of comfort they found at the facility: "The staff here truly care about the patients," Katie wrote in one representative review; "Desert Cove provides exceptional therapy in a safe environment perfect for healing," Kristin added in another. In addition, more than one alum credited the facility with saving their life, and all three of the reviewers polled on the facility's holistic offerings and family participation gave four- and five-star ratings in each category. The only reservations came from an anonymous reviewer, who praised the center's focus on changing clients' lives, but noted that the days were "very restricted," in particular with regard to visitation and phone call privileges.

At the time of this writing, secondary sites yielded mostly positive feedback with some recurring notes of complaint. Desert Cove Recovery had average ratings of 4.4 stars based on 19 reviews on Facebook (where the facility can manage its own page), 4.1 stars based on 23 reviews on Google, and 3.22 stars based on nine reviews on Yelp.[1] [2] [3] Like reviewers, the positive reviewers repeatedly thanked the center's staff and credited the program with saving or changing their lives. "Great place, the staff provides you with all the tools you need to live a happy sober life. This place can truly save your life," A.H. wrote in a representative review on Yelp.

However, the reviews also contained repeated references to subpar facilities and a hostile environment. "'Love and tolerance towards others' is NOT the operational code of Desert Cove. The mood and atmosphere at groups and outside of groups was rude, degrading, negative, offensive, and vulgar," an anonymous reviewer wrote in a typical review on Yelp.


Of the three staff reviews submitted to to date, two were positive and one negative. One reviewer gave the facility five out of five stars in all of the evaluated treatment metrics, including its family participation, safety and comfort, and holistic offerings. "Great facility, great staff, they saved my brother's life," Justin wrote. An anonymous reviewer praised Desert Cove Recovery's "staff, commitment, intent," and gave the facility five stars for its treatment effectiveness and its counseling options — but just one star for its family participation and one star for its exercise and leisure offerings.

Parent J.J. had a much more negative experience. "At first it felt like they truly cared about our child, but in the end they seemed to only care about the almighty dollar," they wrote, indicating that they would not recommend Desert Cove Recovery and giving the facility just one star for its leadership and the level of staff support it provided and two stars for its family involvement.


Of the two staff reviews submitted to to date, one was positive and one negative. "Dedicated staff and helpful program," Christina wrote, giving Desert Cove Recovery five stars in all of the evaluated treatment metrics. However, J.M. wrote: "Nice facility," but added: "I would not recommend this facility to anyone needing to get sober," and gave the center just one star for its honesty and its willingness to put clients' interests first, as well as indicating that they had concerns about the quality of care offered at the center.


Desert Cove accepts most insurances, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, United, and Value Options. The six individuals polled by to date on the center's affordability gave it a four-star average rating.


Published on November 2017

User Reviews

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Everything was everything.

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The first thing they do with the addict is try to put him on more drugs.. They bill the insurance companies for a 30$ drug test. They do whatever they can to keep these kids at the rehab until their insurance runs out,

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Our child was their first client and she did great at first and we were very happy. However, as the facility added new patients, they could not handle it and lost control of our child and many other patients. At first it felt like they truly cared about our child, but in the end they seemed to only care about the almighty dollar.

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Staff, commitment, intent.

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providing alternative lifestyles that are attainable instead of staying in the lifestyle of an addict. they really do focus on changing your environment that led to your addiction. i didnt like the phone call and visitor policies. well i do recommend this place but be ready to really work hard on changing those habits that led u to losing control of your life and be ready for very restricted days.

nice facility. I would not recommend this facility to anyone needing to get sober.

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The staff here truly care about the patients and they saved my life.

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Dedicated staff and helpful program

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Great facility, great staff, they saved my brother's life.

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Desert Cove provides exceptional therapy in a safe environment perfect for healing.

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Desert Cove Recovery saved my life in 2013 and I have been sober ever since. The staff here gave me the tools I needed to live a healthier happier life and I am so grateful. I don't think I would be alive today if it wasn't for Desert Cove!

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Desert Cove provides excellent care and comfort for addicts seeking recovery.

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