As Pennsylvania’s largest city, Philadelphia is home to just over 1.5 million people. The city is located in Philadelphia County, the largest county in the state. With such a concentrated population, a significant number of Philadelphia residents struggle with drug or alcohol use.
The impact of addiction is so severe that, out of 44 other counties in America of similar size, Philadelphia County has the second-highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation. A key aspect of preventing these deaths and overcoming harmful patterns of drug use is effective drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
Addiction doesn’t discriminate or affect people from only certain walks of life. Instead, people of every race, gender, and socioeconomic class suffer the devastation of this disease.
Because each person facing addiction is different, their treatment should be as well. The most successful programs are those that offer individualized treatment plans based on the patient’s unique needs.
Philadelphia Addiction Treatment
A variety of services from the continuum of addiction treatment care may be built into a person’s treatment plan, including:
- Intervention services
- Drug and alcohol detox programs
- Inpatient addiction treatment
- Outpatient addiction treatment
- Aftercare and alumni support services
The therapies used during rehab may include behavioral therapies like dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) or more holistic treatments, such as complementary therapies and alternative medicine.
Drug and alcohol use can change the way a person thinks. Over time, finding and using a substance can become more important than their health, career or life. With the help of close friends and family members, professional Philadelphia intervention services can help a person to see that they have a problem and that addiction treatment can help.
Drug And Alcohol Detox Programs
Certain forms of addiction can lead to painful, uncomfortable and, in the case of alcohol and benzodiazepines, deadly withdrawal symptoms. The best Philadelphia medical detox programs provide 24-hour support and use medications to reduce or alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
Inpatient Addiction Treatment
Philadelphia inpatient drug rehab centers typically offer more comprehensive treatment and support than outpatient treatment programs. Residential programs give a person greater access to therapy and counseling in individual, group or family settings. These factors can be especially important for a person who is facing a severe addiction, addiction to more than one substance or who has a co-occurring mental health disorder.
To meet the diverse needs of their clients, many treatment centers offer a growing number of specialty treatment programs, including:
- Dual diagnosis
- Faith-based or religious
- Professional or executive
For people working to overcome addiction to alcohol or opioids, a medication-assisted treatment program may help them achieve and maintain abstinence. For example, some programs use Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) or Diskets (methadone) to prevent withdrawal in people with opioid use disorders.
Outpatient Addiction Treatment
Outpatient treatment can be an excellent resource for those who need to brush up on recovery principles, find support after a relapse or transition from an inpatient treatment program. For people who are facing mild addiction, outpatient treatment may help them build sobriety for the first time.
Aftercare And Alumni Services
Once a person leaves treatment, independent life can feel overwhelming. When faced with the pressures and challenges of a newly sober life, thoughts of relapse may surface.
Philadelphia aftercare and alumni support services provide ongoing accountability, support, and opportunities to develop and fine-tune recovery skills. These options may include:
- Job coaching
- Online recovery resources
- Mentorship programs
- Self-help groups
- Self-improvement classes
- Sober living homes
Addiction Treatment Program Length And Location
While any amount of treatment can be beneficial, the longer a person is able to stay, the greater the opportunity for healing.
A person may choose between short-term treatment, lasting 28 to 30 days, or enroll in a longer treatment program, such as:
- 60 days
- 90 days
- 120 days
- a year or longer
Seeking treatment close to home might seem easier, but it doesn’t always alleviate a person’s substance use. Choosing an out-of-town treatment program can give a person more options and provide them with a higher quality of treatment, factors that can increase a person’s long-term recovery success.
How To Pay For Addiction Treatment
When considering the cost of treatment, it’s important to remember that treatment is an investment in a healthy, fulfilling future.
In Philadelphia, people in need of treatment may be able to use insurance benefits offered by the following companies:
- Capital BlueCross
- Health Partners Plans
- Highmark Blue Shield
- Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Independence Blue Cross
- UPMC Health Plan
Some people may find that they still can’t pay for the remaining balance after using their instance benefits. Others may not have insurance benefits, to begin with. Fortunately, other payment options exist.
Many treatment facilities offer additional forms of assistance, including:
- Flexible payment plans
- Scholarships or grants
- Sliding-scale fees
On their own, a person could also pursue:
- Donations from loved ones
- Medical credit cards
- Personal loans
Drug And Alcohol Use And Addiction In Philadelphia
Philadelphia drug use includes legal substances, like alcohol, and use of frequently prescribed prescription medications. Many of these substances can cause dependence and addiction.
In Philly, from 2012 to 2014, of people aged 12 and older:
- 8 percent had a past-year alcohol use disorder
- 4 percent of people had a past-year illicit drug use disorder
Quite often, addiction begins from sporadic, recreational use. From 2012 to 2014, of Philadelphia residents aged 12 and older:
- 29 percent binge drank over the past month
- 10 percent used marijuana over the past month
- 4 percent used an illicit drug other than marijuana over the past month
- 3 percent used cocaine over the past year
- 5 percent engaged in nonmedical use of a pain reliever over the past year
Prescription opioid painkillers are widely used and may include:
- Fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco)
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
- Meperidine (Demerol)
- Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)
- Morphine (Duramorph, MS Contin)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet)
- Oxymorphone (Opana)
As one of the drugs most responsible for overdoses and treatment admissions, the research found that heroin was the most-preferred drug among the uninsured and underinsured population in Philly.
Drug Overdose Deaths
With one of the highest overdose death rates in the nation for large counties, Philadelphia County is facing a rising number of drug-related fatalities.
From 2015 to 2016, overdose deaths in Philadelphia rose 29.2 percent, climbing from 702 to 907 lives lost. Of these deaths:
- 45.5 percent involved fentanyl
- Over 400 deaths were from heroin
- Nearly 400 deaths were from benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines are prescription drugs with sedative and hypnotic properties. Because of this, they can cause an overdose. Commonly used benzodiazepines include:
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Temazepam (Restoril)
In 2016, the top drugs of use that people seek treatment for in Philly were:
- Heroin, at 36.7 percent
- Alcohol, at 19.8 percent
- Cocaine and crack, at 11.2 percent
- Other opiates/synthetics, at 4.1 percent
- Benzodiazepines, at 1.8 percent
- Methamphetamine, at 0.4 percent
Signs And Symptoms Of Substance Use And Addiction
In addition to tolerance, dependence, cravings, and withdrawal, major characteristics of a substance use disorder include physical, mental and behavioral changes that point to drug use or addiction.
Physical signs of addiction:
- Changes in energy levels (excitability or lethargy)
- Changes in speech patterns (slurring or talkativeness)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Poor physical hygiene
- Pupils are too large (dilated) or too small (pinpoint)
- Sleep changes (sleeping too much or not enough)
- Strange odor on breath or clothes
- Unexplainable weight loss or gain
Mental signs of addiction:
- Agitation or irritation
- Difficulty thinking
- Impaired judgment
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
Behavioral signs of addiction:
- Pushing close friends and family away
- Becoming secretive and lying about behaviors and drug use
- Stealing money or other things to pay for drugs or alcohol
- Using the drug even when it’s causing a person harm
- Taking part in risky behaviors
- Losing interest in hobbies
As the addiction worsens and a person becomes even more consumed by seeking and using drugs or alcohol, it’s common that they’ll also begin to ignore important responsibilities related to their family, job or schooling.
Types Of Drugs Used In Philadelphia
Substance use and addiction in Philadelphia takes many forms and could include a substance use disorder caused by:
- Cocaine (including crack)
- Illicit fentanyl
- Prescription opioid painkillers
- Prescription ADHD medications, such as Adderall (dextroamphetamine/amphetamine) and Ritalin (methylphenidate)
- Synthetic cannabinoids (“fake weed”)
Vertava Health is standing by to deliver cutting-edge and compassionate care to people in need of treatment across the United States. Knowledgeable addiction specialists use research-based treatments to help people and their families heal from the damage caused by alcohol, illicit drug, and prescription medication use.