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American Indians: Seek Treatment for Mind, Body, Spirit

by Landmark Recovery

December 17, 2021
american indian treatment

Arizona FFS offers treatment options for American Indians struggling with alcohol or drug addiction

I greatly respect American Indians’ view of health. From what I understand, American Indians do not consider health the absence of disease; instead, they believe health to be the harmony and interconnection of the body, mind, and spirit. [1] At Landmark Recovery, we treat the disease of drug and alcohol addiction. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, for the American Indian population there are not nearly enough drug and alcohol treatment services that 1. are accessible to them, 2. align with their worldviews, and 3.  approach treating this disease holistically.

It should be noted that an addiction to drugs or alcohol is just that: an all-encompassing disease. [2] It causes physical illness, leads to mental distress, isolates a person from their loved ones and communities, and often results in death. Yet, the compulsion to misuse the substance – the very poison that is destroying them – continues and even intensifies over time.

Only in the last few decades has American medicine begun to accept how the health of our body affects the health of our mind and spirit, and vice versa, especially when it comes to treating substance use disorder (SUD). [3] Today, it is the proven, effective approach in addiction treatment.

So why, then, is the American Indian population underserved by a behavioral and medical treatment model that should, in theory, serve them very well if they have a drug or alcohol addiction?

Access to substance use treatment for AHCCCS, FFS members

For American Indian individuals and tribes residing in Arizona, there are now more promising substance use disorder (SUD) treatment options through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System’s (AHCCCS) Fee-for-Service benefits.

As an AHCCCS member, individuals in the American Indian population can benefit from the American Indian Health Program (AIHP); they are eligible to receive behavioral health services at an Indian Health Service (IHS) facility, at a tribally owned and/or operated 638 facility, or at an AHCCCS registered provider that accepts Fee-For-Service. This includes paying for mental health, substance use disorders (for drugs or alcohol), and crisis services.

AHCCCS members also can enroll in Medicaid Fee-for-Service (FFS) Regular, which covers substance abuse treatment, among other physical and behavioral health services.

At Landmark Recovery, we are a growing network of drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers serving communities in Nevada, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Indiana. Landmark is an evidence-based addiction recovery organization offering passionate, individualized treatment options including detox, residential, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization. And, now, we accept AHCCCS FFS health plans at our Las Vegas facility.

So, what exactly does AHCCCS FFS health plan provide to American Indians whom choose to seek treatment at Landmark Recovery of Las Vegas?

  1. Crisis services, inpatient care, therapy, and more

Specifically, AHCCCS benefits include:*

  • Inpatient services in a hospital and other facilities
  • Partial care (supervised, treatment, or medical day programs)
  • Individual, group, and/or family counseling and therapy
  • Emergency/crisis services
  • Behavioral management
  • Evaluation and diagnosis
  • Medicine and monitoring of medicine
  • Psychosocial rehabilitation
  • Emergency and non-emergency transportation

*To learn more, read the AHCCCS Handbook for Members of the American Indian Health Program and/or the Tribal Regional Behavioral Health Authorities.

  1. Out-of-state treatment

A specific benefit of FFS: It can cover substance use disorder treatment outside the state of Arizona.* Talk about expanding options for the American Indian population! Many Americans explore the option of treatment centers out-of-state; why shouldn’t AIs?

*To receive some services from a non-HIS/638 provider, you must first have approval from your health plan provider (prior authorization). If you are in the AIHP and/or enrolled in a TRBHA, your health care provider should contact AHCCCS before you receive non-emergency behavioral health inpatient admissions or non-emergency transportation over 100 miles (one way or round trip).

  1. Transportation to treatment

Another AHCCCS benefit: It pays for medically-needed, non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) to and from covered medical and behavioral health appointments. This service is available for members whom are unable to provide or pay for their own transportation when free transportation services are not available.*

*Your health care provider may need to obtain approval (prior authorization) from AHCCCS before the transport occurs. AHCCCS pays for NEMT to the nearest HIS/Tribal 638 medical or behavioral health facility OR to the nearest medical or behavioral health provider capable of meeting your needs.

Landmark Recovery’s goal: Heal the whole person

Many studies have shown the physical risks of using drugs and alcohol excessively, and studies of the brain have illustrated how drugs and alcohol change the areas of the brain that control judgement, decision making, learning, memory, and behavior.

This is why working to heal the disease of addiction needs to be holistic. And seeking out exceptional treatment will allow you to live a life beyond your addiction, beyond the suffering, and beyond hurting the ones you love.

We believe that no other team will be more dedicated to helping you than Landmark Recovery. We will work tirelessly to help you recover the healthiest version of you.

Mind: We provide twice the amount of one-on-one therapy as any other treatment center. Our approach is to guide and teach you how to navigate the world without the effects of drugs and alcohol.

Body: Our highly-qualified and trained medical and clinical staff offer the best in addiction treatment. We will address your needs, concerns, and discuss all possible treatment options. We also will gather all necessary information, including a medical assessment, previous treatment experiences, and psychiatric needs.

Spirit: We tailor your treatment program to your beliefs and how your family, community, and surroundings play a role in your success on the road to recovery.

For more information, visit www.landmarkrecovery.com or call 866-504-8545. For our Las Vegas, NV facility, visit https://landmarkrecovery.com/locations/las-vegas/ or call 725-217-9910.

Arizona Addiction, Emergency, and Suicide Hotlines

If you need emergency care, go to the nearest emergency room (ER) or dial 911.

AHCCCS Member Services



National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Substance Use and Disorder Issues Referral and Treatment Hotline

1-800-662-HELP (4357)

For Teenagers, Teen Life Line phone or text

1-602-248-TEEN (8336)

Maricopa County

1-800-631-1314 or 602-222-9444

Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, and Yuma Counties


Apache, Coconino, Gila, Mohave, Navajo, and Yavapai Counties


Gila River and Ak-Chin Indian Communities



[1] Duran, Betty E. S. “American Indian Belief Systems and Traditional Practices.” The University of Oklahoma. http://www.wellnesscourts.org/files/Duran%20-%20American%20Indian%20Belief%20Systems.pdf

[2] “Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.” Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration. April 2020. https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disorders

[3] “Time for a Change.” Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. https://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/vision-future/time-for-a-change

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About the Author

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery was founded with a determination to make addiction treatment accessible for all. Through our integrated treatment programs, we've helped thousands of people choose recovery over addiction and get back to life on their own terms. We're on a mission to save one million lives over the next century. We encourage all those struggling with substance use to seek professional help.