We Have Increased Our Intensive Outpatient Program

ITS is happy to announce that we now have an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that is available to everyone not just those participating in our Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program.  Offered at all locations, at various times, days and evenings.

For more information please contact us at 855-245- 6350 or email us info@itsofaz.com

New Covid Guidelines

Information and guidelines on COVID-19  are here, please continue to attend the clinic as previously arranged.  We are still accepting new clients

We Are Here To Serve You During The Pandemic

ITS would like to extend a HUGE……….. THANK YOU to ALL of our dedicated staff who work around the clock to ensure that our clients are receiving the treatment and services they need.

We would like to assure everyone that we are doing everything we can to make sure that we continue to offer treatment as it is needed.

We are still taking new patients; if you or a family member is suffering from addiction – we can help! Please call our 24 hour number for more information 1-855-245-6350.

Opioid Addiction and How the Brain Responds

Opioid addiction is much deeper than what we see from the outside. It involves how the drug changes the structure and function of the brain that makes people continue to use it, leading to the addiction.

Dr. Sol Snyder first studied the effects of opioids in the 1970s at John Hopkins University. His team discovered opioid receptors in the brain. This discovery helped them better understand why opioid users feel euphoric, less pain, and become physically and psychologically dependent.

How the Brain Responds to Opioids

Opioid addiction directly affects the brain’s receptors in much of the same way other enjoyable activities do, such as sex or eating. When we engage in pleasurable activities, our brain releases neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters attach to mu receptors, which activate the release of chemicals. These chemicals are what cause us to enjoy what we are doing and reduce the sensation of pain.

When introduced into the body, enzymes in the brain convert them into morphine. It’s the morphine that attaches and activates opioid receptors, releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine. The nervous system uses dopamine to send messages between nerve cells. It also plays a significant role in how we feel pleasure. The more dopamine there is, the more pleasure we feel.

The brain is highly adaptable. After regular use of opioids and the increased dopamine release, the brain begins to alter its functioning to accommodate the increase in dopamine. The brain no longer reacts as quickly and as powerfully to the drugs, which means lower feelings of pleasure and increased pain sensitivity. The only way to bring back the euphoria and higher pain thresholds is to introduce a higher dose of the drug.

Opioid addiction can occur quickly and easily, depending on how fast it adapts to the increased dopamine levels. Once the brain adapts to those higher levels, the only way to avoid feeling the withdrawal effects is to continue the opioid drug dosage that produces higher dopamine levels. 

Long Term Effects on the Brain

Using opioids for many years can lead to permanent changes to the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe of the brain. These two areas of the brain are essential in:

  • Memory
  • Decision-making
  • Thought processes
  • Social behavior
  • Reasoning skills
  • Emotional processes
  • Behavior control

Since opioid addiction can lead to those permanent changes, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Opioid addiction is not a lifelong sentence. Treatment can help the brain withdraw from the elevated levels of dopamine and become accustomed to what the brain naturally produces. Recovery helps with the mental and emotional dependency of the drug to prevent relapse.

Intensive Treatment Systems offers Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), integrated care, counseling, peer support, and much more to those who struggle with opioid and alcohol addiction. We have many clinics conveniently located in and around the Phoenix area. Call us 24/7 at 623-247-1234 for additional information on how we can help you break free from opioid addiction.

William Fox DNP, AGNP-C


The Covid-19 crisis paired with the already opiate epidemic has had an impact on individuals struggling with addiction and mental health. According to the National Institute of Health, because of the effect that Covid-19 has on the respiratory and pulmonary health it leads the potential to become a bigger threat to those who struggle with opiate use disorder.  Individuals struggling with substance use disorder are also more likely to experience homelessness, lack of health care, and barriers when it comes to transportation. ITS takes pride in being able to bridge those barriers to allow individuals the best possible care.

At ITS we are doing everything possible to ensure patient safety while continuing to give top notch patient care. ITS understands the barriers that Covid-19 has created for individuals who are engaged in MAT clinics, specifically the ones taking methadone. ITS does not only offer medication assistance treatment but also offers integrated care. We understand how difficult it is to see a provider during this pandemic. ITS strives on eliminating all barriers to make sure sobriety is in reach. At all ITS locations there is mask mandate, frequent sanitization, and social distancing guidelines in place. Like all other MAT clinics, ITS is also engaging in the Covid-19 take homes for what SAMSHA considers “stable” patients.

At ITS, we take the crisis very serious, but also understand the impact it has had on mental health.  Individuals may experience a surge in stress during this pandemic which can lead to many things including increased drug use. According to the CDC, there has been a surge in individuals who are reporting fear and anxiety to the pandemic. ITS is offering both in person care and telemedicine to ensure that individuals are both physically safe and mentally safe.

Intensive Treatment System offers same day appointments, same day transportation, and integrated care. Struggling with substance abuse can be exhausting, sometimes causing one to feel depressed and alone, but ITS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to offer services and help individuals gain a sense of purpose.

Call ITS to speak to someone today for a better tomorrow, 1-855-245-6350.