The University of Arizona

Illicit Drug Screening, Brief Intervention, and Treatment Placement
Referring Users to Treatment:
Linking Clients to Services in Arizona

If a screening or brief intervention points to the need for substance abuse treatment, a client should be referred to a treatment provider or system.  To this end, the link to a list of drug treatment centers in Arizona is available by clicking here.

For clients with limited financial resources, the state of Arizona provides public behavioral health services (i.e. substance abuse and mental health services) through a managed care model. In other words, a person getting those services chooses a provider from within a network of providers.  Arizona administers this system through sets of Regional Behavioral Health Authorities and Tribal Regional Behavioral Health Authorities, with each Authority covering a distinct geographic area in the state.   The Authorities (commonly referred to as RHBAs or T/RHBAs) are responsible for ensuring that behavioral health services are available to their members (i.e. persons enrolled with the Authority).  In addition to making sure that services are available, each Authority must oversee the quality of care given to its members and manage the cost.

For example, the RHBA responsible for the coordination of behavioral health treatment and preventions services in Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, and Santa Cruz counties is the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona (CPSA).  A person can contact CPSA for a referral to behavioral health services.  In particular, one calls member services at CPSA, and a representative will:[1]

  • Help determine eligibility for behavioral health services
  • Tell the person how to access services
  • Ask questions concerning special needs
  • Refer the person to a CPSA provider based on the person’s provider preference, location, and eligibility for programs such as Arizona’s Medicaid program (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System – AHCCCS) and/or its Seriously Mentally Ill (SMI) program.

Providers contracting with CPSA have treatment services ranging from initial detoxification treatment to long-term residential treatment.  Providers vary in costs and fee payment, length of treatment, and time to service.  Most providers try to provide services shortly after initial contact, but this is dependent on available staff and facilities.  Note that providers that contract with the state under Arizona’s Medicaid program, AHCCCS, are required to provide an intake for all clients within seven days of the date the client calls to make an appointment. 

The link where each of the RHBAs and T/RHBAs in Arizona provide a handbook describing their operations and services can be found by clicking here



  • (1) CPSA. Obtaining Services. Web 2007Available from: URL: