History of Cottonwood Tucson - Arizona Treatment Center

Cottonwood de Tucson was founded in 1987 by a group of recovering individuals.  Their vision was to create a world-class treatment center in Tucson, and then use that model in building other centers in key areas around the country. The treatment model they developed was welcomed and needed in the late 1980’s and Cottonwood de Tucson experienced rapid growth and success.  Cottonwood de Tucson was followed by Cottonwood de Albuquerque and Cottonwood de Austin in short order.

Cottonwood Tucson
Board of Directors

  • Ronald Welch
    Chairman of the Board and CEO Emeritus
  • Steve Welch
    Vice President & General Counsel
  • Clint Welch
    Vice President
  • William Welch
    Chairman of the Board Emeritus

In 1989 and 1990 the industry began to change rapidly.  12-Step treatment and co-dependency treatment, which were Cottonwood’s strengths, started to come under fire.  Growing pressure from insurance companies regarding behavioral health diagnoses and compensation began to wreak havoc on the Cottonwood model of treatment.  Economics forced Cottonwood de Austin to close in 1990 and through 1991 things seemed to go further and further south until the spring of 1992 when Ron Welch was hired to right the ship. 

In the fall of 1992 the decision was made to close Cottonwood de Albuquerque.  All resources and assets were focused on Cottonwood de Tucson.  Ron’s background with Psychiatric hospitals was just what the situation required, and in April 1993 the Welch family purchased the controlling interest in Cottonwood de Tucson.

By early 1993 Cottonwood began to emerge with an innovative dual-diagnosis treatment model that to this day continues to set us apart from other treatment facilities.  Key behavioral health staff began arriving, a multi-disciplinary team was assembled, and slowly Cottonwood de Tucson began to be recognized as an addiction rehab treatment facility that married the best-of-the-best treatment modalities.  Patients and their families were walking away after treatment with tool bags full and sobriety well in hand.

Tree, Arizona Treatment Center, Addiction RehabThe Welch family and the Board of Directors continued to build on the emerging behavioral health and addiction treatment model, and marketing expanded from local to state to regional to national and now our Arizona treatment center has international exposure.

Cottonwood de Tucson's addiction rehab continues to reinvest in its facilities and its people.  On average, tenure for associates is in excess of five years, with key management, medical, nursing and clinical staff averaging 12-plus years.

Referrals continue to come from all over the country and the world, and over 45 percent come from Cottonwood alumni, family and friends.  Patients that get well at our Arizona treatment center often beat the odds and stay well, and are always considered part of the Cottonwood family.
In 2009, we elected to shorten our name to make it easier for people to contact us and for this reason, quite often you will see "Cottonwood de Tucson" in the text. We are now simply, Cottonwood Tucson.

Cottonwood Tucson is a unique organization with a deep history as an Arizona treatment center.  We are eager to help you and your family at our addiction and behavioral health rehab center.

Call for more information and daily rates:
(800) 877-4520

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CARF - Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation FacilitiesNATSAP | National Association of Therapeutic Schools and ProgramsNBCCNAADAC