One of the original 13 colonies, Pennsylvania’s beautiful Appalachian mountains, and rich cultural history make the state a great place to live. Home to urban manufacturing and large rural areas, the state is also home to a serious drug problem.
One in four Pennsylvania families struggles with drug or alcohol abuse. Rates of substance abuse are so high in Pennsylvania that in 2018 the state ranked tenth in the nation for drug problems.
Pennsylvania addiction treatment helps individuals and their families regain hope, stability and better health in the face of this adversity.
Pennsylvania Substance Abuse Statistics
Pennsylvania has been hit harder by drug addiction and the opioid epidemic than many other states.
Drug Overdose Deaths Are On The Rise
As of July 2017, the rate at which Pennsylvania’s drug overdoses were increasing was higher than any other state. In a 12-month period spanning from 2016 to 2017, state drug overdose deaths rose by 43.4 percent.
- Roughly 13 people died every day from a drug overdose.
- Out of every 100,000 Pennsylvania residents, 36.5 lost their lives to a drug-related overdose.
- 70 percent of the people who died from an overdose was male.
- Opioid drugs were detected in 85 percent of drug-related overdose deaths.
- There were 2,235 opioid-related overdose deaths in the state.
Pennsylvania’s opioid overdose death rate was nearly 40 percent higher than the nation’s.
Top Counties For Drug-Related Overdose Deaths
A staggering 80 percent of Pennsylvania’s counties had an overdose death rate higher than the national average in 2016. The national average was 16.3 deaths for every 100,000 people.
In 2016, the top five Pennsylvania counties for drug-related overdose deaths were:
- Fulton – 74.1 deaths for every 100,000 people
- Cambria – 65.4 deaths for every 100,000 people
- Beaver – 59.8 deaths for every 100,000 people
- Armstrong – 59.5 deaths for every 100,000 people
- Philadelphia – 59.4 deaths for every 100,000 people
Drugs Involved In Overdose Deaths
These rising numbers are largely due to opioid drugs. In 2016, three of the top five drugs most frequently identified in drug overdose deaths were opioids:
- Fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances – 52 percent of cases
- Heroin – 45 percent of cases
- Benzodiazepines – 33 percent of cases
- Cocaine – 27 percent of cases
- Prescription opioids – 25 percent of cases
Prescription drugs that may be responsible for these deaths include opioid painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, and benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Valium, and Xanax.
Other forms of Pennsylvania drug abuse that can cause overdose include:
- Prescription ADHD medications (Adderall, Ritalin)
- Synthetic cannabinoids (synthetic marijuana, fake weed, K2, Spice)
In July 2017, in Lancaster County alone, 102 people overdosed on synthetic marijuana in just three days.
Pennsylvania Addiction Prevention Programs
David’s Law–Opioid Overdose Reversal Act 139
This law allows first responders to carry and administer naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medication that can save lives. Loved ones of a person at risk of overdose can receive a prescription for naloxone (Narcan) under this law. Act 139 also protects a person who reports an overdose from prosecution.
Pennsylvania Prescription Drug Take-Back Program
This program offers safe options to dispose of medications. The goal is to reduce the number of prescription drugs available for diversion and abuse.
The aim of this initiative is to increase the chance that a person successfully recovers from addiction after an overdose. Under this program, a person receives a referral for substance abuse treatment while they’re still in the emergency department.
Pennsylvania Addiction Treatment
A variety of individualized services and therapies make up each person’s addiction treatment plan. From the first days of recovery to the years beyond, the best addiction treatment services focus on keeping a person inspired, accountable and committed to better health and sober living.
The following Pennsylvania addiction treatment programs can help a person build a strong and balanced recovery.
Chronic drug use can change a person’s brain chemistry. This damage can impair a person’s thoughts and decision-making abilities. Paired with denial, this can make it hard for some people to see that they have a problem or that they’re in need of treatment.
Pennsylvania intervention services can help a person overcome this hurdle so they can get the treatment they need. A professional interventionist will help plan the intervention, oversee it and assist the person and their family as they choose a treatment program.
Drug And Alcohol Detox Programs
Drug and alcohol abuse can create a strong physical dependence on a substance, meaning that a person’s body cannot function normally in the absence of the drug. In many cases this dependency causes a person to become very sick if they stop using the substance. This is often the case with alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opioids, all of which can cause severe or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
Detoxing at home without medical supervision can be very dangerous. The risk of relapse during an unsupported detox is also higher than during a professional drug and alcohol detox program.
Pennsylvania medical detox programs offer greater protection against relapse and medical complications caused by unsupervised withdrawal. Medications are frequently used to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Intravenous fluid therapy and nutritional support may also be administered to help a person’s body heal and cleanse the drug from its system.
Inpatient Addiction Treatment
A variety of therapies are used during inpatient drug rehab to help a person grow and build positive behaviors that support sobriety. Counseling sessions help a person to transform their lives and overcome negative patterns caused by addiction. Peer support groups are great ways to find encouragement, accountability and new sets of coping skills.
During residential drug and alcohol rehab, clinicians address the ways addiction has hurt a person psychologically and even spiritually. Every program is slightly different, however, the most effective treatment programs typically use psychotherapies to help a person work through the emotional and mental damage of addiction. These sessions guide a person toward hope, healing and healthy habits of self-care.
Once a person has found sobriety, they must take steps to protect themselves against relapse. Chronic substance abuse can change a person’s behaviors and thought processes. Inpatient addiction treatment generally commits more time, resources and therapy sessions to overcome these obstacles. This in-depth approach teaches coping and relapse-prevention skills so that a person will be better able to handle the demands of a sober life.
Outpatient Addiction Treatment
Outpatient drug rehab has several roles in addiction treatment. While some people benefit from outpatient drug rehab as a standalone treatment, many people have greater success when using it as a step-down service.
As a step-down level of care, outpatient programs support a person as they transition from the structured setting of residential treatment to independent living. Outpatient addiction treatment programs provide guidance, support and fresh tips on how to practice sober living.
Recovery is a journey that takes constant diligence and support. It can be very difficult for a person to maintain a drug-free life on their own.
There are numerous resources that can help a person nourish a stable recovery after they leave treatment:
- Community-based peer support groups
- Online recovery resources and support groups
- Mentorship opportunities
- Self-improvement classes
- Sober-living homes
Staying active in the recovery community can inspire a person to stay positive, healthy and sober.
Specialized Pennsylvania Addiction Treatment Programs
Specialized Pennsylvania drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs give clients more opportunities to work on the issues that impact them the most.
Addiction can cause physical, mental and emotional imbalances. Many people find that they are more successful when each of these areas is treated together. Medication-assisted treatment blends behavioral therapies, counseling, and medications into one integrated approach.
Medications for opioid use disorders:
- Buprenorphine (Suboxone)
Medications for alcohol use disorders:
- Acamprosate (Campral)
- Disulfiram (Antabuse)
- Naltrexone (Vivitrol)
Addiction can affect men and women differently. Gender-specific programs provide therapies and treatments that address gender-related addiction issues. This may include programs that treat certain physical health needs or ones that address important life experiences, like parenting or surviving traumatic events.
Co-Occurring Treatment in PA
Mental-health issues that co-occur with addiction can complicate a person’s treatment needs. Recovery can be far more successful if the mental health disorder is treated along with the addiction. Co-occurring disorder treatment programs may address:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders—anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder
- Personality disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Other specialized addiction treatment programs are offered throughout Pennsylvania, such as holistic, LGBTQIA-friendly, luxury or religious programs, or programs designed for executives or professionals.
Pennsylvania Addiction Treatment Therapies
Pennsylvania addiction treatment programs use traditional, spiritual, alternative and research-based therapies. This integrated approach helps a person find their unique path to sobriety.
Evidence-based behavioral therapies work to develop positive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that build a strong foundation for recovery and may include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- 12-step facilitation therapy
A growing number of drug rehab programs offer exciting and engaging alternative therapies that enhance a person’s confidence, resilience, and inner strength:
- Adventure or wilderness therapies
- Art or music therapy
- Equine or pet therapy
- Mindfulness and stress-management practices
- Tai chi
A person’s body needs to heal and strengthen itself after the effects of prolonged drug abuse. A number of Pennsylvania addiction treatment programs offer classes on nutrition or physical fitness to support these goals.
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How To Pay For Pennsylvania Addiction Treatment
Many people don’t seek treatment because they think they can’t afford it. Fortunately, a number of options exist that can help a person pay for treatment. One of the biggest is health insurance. Each insurance provider offers different benefits, and copays and deductibles will vary between companies and plans.
Health insurance providers that may offer benefits for addiction treatment in Pennsylvania include:
- Aetna Better Health of Pennsylvania
- Capital BlueCross
- Geisinger Health Plan
- Highmark Blue Shield
- Independence Blue Cross
If a person finds that they’re still in need of financial assistance after insurance—or if they don’t have insurance—there are a number of ways they could get the treatment they need:
- Donations from loved ones
- Income-based fees
- Medical credit cards
- Monthly payment plans
- Personal loans
- Scholarships or grants
Treatment Program Length
A patient’s initial clinical assessment will help treatment providers determine how long a person should be enrolled in a drug rehabilitation program. Individuals facing medical problems or a dual diagnosis may need longer treatment. Short-term programs last 28 to 30 days. Other program options include:
- 60 days
- 90 days
- 120 days
Long-term treatment may last a year or more.
Traveling For Addiction Treatment
Some people find that the combination of therapies and treatments they need aren’t offered close to home or even in their home state. Looking at out-of-state programs gives a person more opportunities for personalized addiction treatment.
If a program is too close to home, a person may get distracted by their loved ones’ needs instead of focusing on their own. Enrolling in treatment away from home helps a person to create a space and establish a routine that is centered on their recovery goals.
The benefits of choosing a long-distance or out-of-state program include:
- Better protection from relapse triggers that exist in the home or community
- Greater privacy
- Treatment locations that can be inspiring
Vertava Health offers cutting-edge, compassionate treatment at multiple exciting locations across the United States. Highly trained addiction specialists use a variety of research-based addiction treatments to help heal a person’s body, mind, and spirit.