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Pittsburgh, PA

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Positioned at the intersection of the Allegheny, Ohio, and Monongahela rivers, Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the state of Pennsylvania. Known as Steel City, Pittsburgh became prosperous and grew rapidly in the late 1800s with the introduction of steel production by Andrew Carnegie. Today the city continues to employ hundreds of thousands of residents in the steel industry and thousands more in its growing tech industry.

Pittsburgh maintained its wealth through the first half of the 20th century, creating more jobs for residents and growing substantially in size. However, when some of the city’s steel production moved overseas, an increase in crime and drug trade soon followed. Pittsburgh’s central location in the Midwest combined with established trade routes make it a prime city for drug trafficking.

Pittsburgh Addiction Treatment

Addiction can have many contributing factors, which is why it is important to seek out a comprehensive treatment program. Effective addiction treatment will tackle each layer of addiction and approach it from both a mental and physical perspective.

The full continuum of addiction treatment care offers progressive treatment steps. In Pittsburgh, an addiction treatment plan may include some or all of the following:

Pittsburgh Intervention Services

It may be difficult for someone to admit that their use of drugs or alcohol is destructive to their health and well-being. It is not uncommon for family members or friends to recognize this in a loved one before they realize it themselves. If this is the case, an intervention may be necessary.

Pittsburgh intervention services can offer a professional and ethical approach to having a discussion with a loved one about their addiction. Professional interventionists are specially trained for this service and can effectively encourage those who are in need of help to seek addiction treatment.

Pittsburgh Medical Detox For Drug And Alcohol Addiction

Certain types of drugs may cause a chemical dependency so severe that it is physically dangerous to suddenly stop taking them without medical support. These substances include:

  • Opioids
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Alcohol

The withdrawal symptoms caused by these drugs can be life-threatening. Pittsburgh medical detox programs ensure the safety of their patients as they detox and go through withdrawal. Pharmacological therapies, which include the use of medications, are commonly used for medical detox.

Once the physical addiction has been addressed, patients are able to move forward with an inpatient drug rehab program to start treating the mental and emotional facets of addiction.

Residential Addiction Treatment In Pittsburgh

A comprehensive approach to addiction treatment will address the physical, mental, emotional and behavioral aspects of addiction. Participating in an inpatient drug rehab program is a vital part of this approach, as it completely immerses a patient in a healing and supportive environment.

Residential addiction treatment programs use a variety of treatment approaches to best meet their patients’ needs. Specialized addiction treatment programs in Pittsburgh may include:

  • LGBTQIA-friendly programs
  • Holistic programs
  • Gender-specific treatment groups
  • Pet-friendly facilities
  • Equine therapy
  • Executive programs for professionals
  • Programs for co-occurring disorders
  • 12-step programs and 12-step alternatives
  • Religious or faith-based programs

Inpatient drug rehab is one of the most successful approaches to addiction treatment. Living in a treatment facility for the duration of the program can increase the odds of successful recovery.

Pittsburgh Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Following the completion of an inpatient addiction treatment program, outpatient treatment is often the next step to take. Outpatient programs can be a good transitional tool for individuals who are moving home after living in a residential program for several weeks or months.

Some outpatient programs may be more intensive than others. Basic programs may only meet one or two days each week for an hour or two. More intensive programs may meet four or five days per week for up to 4 hours each day.

Pittsburgh Aftercare And Alumni Support Services

Even after completing both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, there will still be tough days ahead. Lifelong recovery often involves seeking out opportunities to maintain positive momentum. Many facilities offer alumni support services to previous patients to help them stay focused on sobriety.

These services may include:

  • Sober living homes
  • Self-help groups
  • Application of coping mechanisms
  • Life-skills classes
  • Mentorship programs
  • Job and relationship coaching
  • Online recovery groups or resources
  • Alumni networks

Pittsburgh Addiction Treatment Program Length

Inpatient addiction treatment programs can vary in length depending on the facility hosting the program and the needs of the patient. Many studies show that the longer the program is, the better the treatment outcome.

Common program lengths include:

  • 30-day programs
  • 90-day programs
  • 120-day programs
  • 1 year or longer

Paying For Pittsburgh Addiction Treatment

Most commercial health insurance plans offer coverage for addiction treatment. As mental health treatment options grow, so does the inclusion of psychological and addiction treatment services as a covered medical necessity. Common health insurance plans available in the Pittsburgh area include:

  • UPMC Health Plan
  • United Health One
  • Aetna
  • Humana
  • Cigna
  • Highmark
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

Individuals who do not have health insurance that offers coverage for addiction treatment services do have other options to pay for addiction treatment. Many facilities will offer assistance to those without coverage in many forms, including:

  • Sliding-scale fees
  • Payment plans
  • Scholarships or grants
  • Medical loans or credit lines

Substance Use And Addiction In Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh substance use is not limited to opioids or heroin. A wide array of illicit substances has been found on the streets of Pittsburgh over the last decade. While traditional drug trafficking is still commonly uncovered by local authorities, the FBI has also been cracking down on online drug trafficking in recent years.

Authorities say that the method of ordering drugs online and having them delivered to the buyer’s front door has been around since the early 2000s. In recent years, however, this trend has increased dramatically. In 2015, the FBI established an opioid task force in Pittsburgh to help crack down on this type of drug trafficking.

Overdose Deaths In Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania ranks fourth in the country for overdose deaths per capita. Pittsburgh, located in the heart of Allegheny County, is a primary contributor to the high number of overdose deaths in Pennsylvania.

2016 data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the number of deaths from overdose in Allegheny County has nearly doubled since 2014. Opioids are to blame for most of these deaths, with fentanyl topping the list.

Commonly used opioids in Pittsburgh include:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)
  • Morphine (Duramorph, MS Contin)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana)

Benzodiazepines have also been identified as a cause of overdose deaths in Pittsburgh. Benzodiazepines can have a strong effect on the respiratory system, causing shallow breathing and a low heart rate that can result in death. Combining benzodiazepines with other drugs, such as opioids or alcohol, can quickly lead to overdose.

Commonly used benzodiazepines in Pittsburgh include:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Temazepam (Restoril)

Signs And Symptoms Of Addiction

Addiction can present itself in different ways. There are often both mental and physical signs that can point to a loved one’s addiction.

Mental signs of substance use or addiction can include:

  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Impaired judgement
  • Difficulty recalling memories
  • Agitation or irritation

Physical signs of substance use or addiction may include:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep changes
  • Slurred speech
  • Unexplainable changes in energy levels
  • Changes in appearance
  • Dilated pupils

Vertava Health specializes in delivering compassionate and comprehensive care to those who need it.