Pennsylvania Rehab Programs and Treatment Resources


Pennsylvania Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities

Pennsylvania has been struggling with devastating alcohol and drug abuse problems. In fact, it was ranked 10th across the United States for its struggles with substance use disorders.

Other studies show that 1 out of every 4 families in Pennsylvania continue struggling with alcohol and drug abuse. In fact, the rates of addiction here are so high that many people constantly find that they need to check into a rehabilitation center commonly known as drug and alcohol rehabs to be able to overcome their chemical and psychological dependence on intoxicating substances.

Statistics on Substance Abuse in Pennsylvania

In comparison to other states, Pennsylvania seem to have a larger than life struggling with the opioid crisis and other form of drug dependence and addiction. Additionally, the rates of overdose fatalities in the state seem to be rising by the day.

By 2017, for instance, statistics showed that the rates of drug overdose in Pennsylvania were higher than other regions of the country. In fact, the number of overdose deaths related to substance abuse in the state rose by a total of 43.4 percent between 2016 and 2017 alone.

Other studies have shown that in 2016 Pennsylvania experienced the following:

  • 13 deaths per day as a result of a drug related overdose
  • 36.5 deaths among every 100,000 people linked to a drug overdose
  • A total of 2235 overdose deaths linked to opioid use disorders
  • Detections of opioid substances in 85% of all overdose deaths
  • Rates of overdose death linked to opioids that were close to 40 % higher than the rest of the United States

On the other hand, 57300 people were admitted into drug and alcohol rehabs in the state in 2010 alone. Of this number, 31.4 percent were male while 68.6 percent were male.

In March of the same year, the state had a total of 533 facilities providing substance abuse and addiction treatment further showing just how endemic the problem was in Pennsylvania.

Of this number, 184 centers were private profit-making while 328 were non-profit private organizations. The rest of the facilities were federal, state, county, or local addiction treatment centers.

Commonly Abused Substances in Pennsylvania

The Department of Transportation in Pennsylvania reported that the state experienced a total of 3306 crashes related to drugs and alcohol in 2012. Of these crashes, 126 were fatal and led to the loss of life.

That said, the following are some of the most commonly abused in the state:

1. Alcohol

The Five Year Trend released by the Department of Transportation in 2010 showed that the state lost 459 lives in accidents related to alcohol. The same year, it experienced a total of 12712 crashes on its roads related to the same substance. O this number, 10501 involved cases of drunk driving.

Other reports illustrated that 35 percent of all fatal traffic accidents in Pennsylvania are related to alcohol while 72 percent of all drunk drivers the same year were male. Further, 65 passengers in cars with a drunk driver lost their lives out of a total of 80 passenger fatalities.

2. Cocaine

According to the 2014 report released by the Office of Criminal Justice in Pennsylvania, 852 people were arrested in the state for possessing cocaine or opium. Of this number, 220 were female while 630 were male.

3. Heroin

The Pennsylvania Drug Control Update released by the Office of the President of the United States showed that the most commonly cited drug in all rehab admissions was heroin.

The report released by the Governor’s workgroup on opioids also illustrated that the state experienced more than 3000 deaths related to a heroin overdose in the period between 2009 and 2013.

4. Marijuana

20347 individuals were arrested in Pennsylvania for marijuana possession in 2014. Some 7 years earlier in 2007, the state experienced rates of marijuana arrest of 207 per every 100,000 people.

5. Prescription Drugs

Another working group created by the governor of Pennsylvania in 2014 showed that the total number of prescriptions that doctors issued for opioids increased to close to 207 million (in 2013) from 76 million (in 1991). This had led to a simultaneous increase in the rates of prescription opioid abuse in the state.

Statistics on Drug Courts, Injuries, and Fatalities in Pennsylvania

The Department of Criminal Justice of the United States released data from 2011 to 2014. This information ranked Pennsylvania 14th in the entire country in terms of deaths linked to drug abuse. In 2014, in particular, the rate was 15.3 deaths per 100,000 people.

The same year, the Pittsburgh region experienced a dramatic increase in the rates of overdose death. This was largely attributed to the rising cases of heroin that was laced with the more potent and dangerous fentanyl.

The Department of Public Welfare, on the other hand, reported that 23 percent of all non-fatal and fatal incidents of child abuse in the state in 2013 were linked to substance abuse.

But which counties in Pennsylvania experience the high rates of overdose deaths related to drugs and alcohol? Not surprisingly, a total of 80 % of all of the counties in the state experienced death rates that were higher than the total national average just in 2016. At the time, the national average was computed at 16.3 deaths per 100,000 people.

That said, the top 5 counties in Pennsylvania that had the highest numbers of deaths arising from drug abuse included:

  • Armstrong at 59.5 deaths per 100,000 people
  • Beaver at 59.8 deaths per 100,000 people
  • Cambria at 65.4 deaths per 100,000 people
  • Fulton at 74.1 deaths per 100,000 people
  • Philadelphia at 59.4 deaths per 100,000 people

It is also important to consider the drugs that were involved in these overdose deaths. In many cases, opioid drugs are largely to blame for the rising numbers of deaths. But what other drugs are linked to these rising cases of overdose death in the state? Consider the following:

  • Benzodiazepines at 33 percent of all cases
  • Cocaine at 27 percent of all cases
  • Fentanyl and other fentanyl-related substances at 52 percent of all cases
  • Heroin at 45 percent of all cases
  • Prescription opioids at 25 percent of all cases

The prescription drugs that were responsible for the deaths included such opioid pain relief medications as Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin as well as benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium, and Ativan.

Other causes of overdose in Pennsylvania included:

  • Methamphetamine
  • Prescription medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (such as Adderall and Ritalin)
  • Synthetic cannabinoids (including Spice, K2, synthetic marijuana, and fake weed)

In Lancaster County an isolated case it was reported that 102 individuals experienced an overdose as a result of abusing synthetic marijuana over a span of 3 days in July 2017.

Addiction Prevention and Treatment in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania passed an opioid overdose reversal act currently known as David’s Law. The legislation now allows first responders to have naloxone on their persons for direct administration in cases of opioid overdose. This medication has been shown to be effective at saving lives among people who are suffering an overdose.

In the same way, people with loved ones who are at risk of overdosing on opioids can get prescriptions for the drug which is known by the brand name Narcan due to this law. David’s Law also protects anyone who reports overdose incidents from being prosecuted.

Pennsylvania has also created a take back program for prescription drugs. This program is designed to create safer ways to dispose of unused medications the goal of which is the reduction of the total number of prescription medication (irrespective of the class of drugs) that can be diverted and misused.

Last but not least, Pennsylvania initiated the Warm Hands-Off initiative the aim of which is to increase the opportunities for people to recover successfully from their addiction after suffering an overdose. Through this program, overdose victims get referred to a drug and alcohol treatment facility while undergoing care in an emergency department.

In the same way, the state has a number of highly successful rehabilitation centers. These facilities provide a wide variety of customized and individualized treatment therapies and services to help their patients overcome their substance use disorders.

From the first couple of days in recovery to many years after, these services also focus on aiding their patients by inspiring them and making them accountable to being committed to ongoing sober living and improved health.

The services provided include but are not limited to intervention services, detox programs to help with withdrawal symptoms and drug/alcohol cravings, inpatient treatment, outpatient care, behavioral therapies, aftercare services, relapse prevention programs, among many others.

In case you are struggling with a chemical, physical, and/or psychological dependence on mind altering and intoxicating substances, therefore, you might want to check into one of these facilities. They can help you overcome your addiction and go on to lead a lifestyle that will make you be glad to be part of the greater Pennsylvania region.


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