Addiction treatment is available in Pennsylvania. The state is expanding resources for individuals with substance use disorders, and it's home to support services for people in recovery.
Thousands of people in Pennsylvania need treatment for addiction. The state has services that connect those people with the health care that they need. Hundreds of rehab facilities in Pennsylvania accept multiple payment options, and the state has an expansive Medicaid program for people who can’t pay for treatment.
Each year more than 42,000 people seek treatment for substance use disorders in Pennsylvania. Heroin was the most common reason Pennsylvanians went to rehab in 2013 and 2014. The total number of heroin treatment admissions grew by about 900 people during that time frame. The number of people seeking treatment for other opioids dropped between 2013 and 2014, as did alcohol and marijuana admissions.
Treatment Admissions by Substance of Abuse (2014)
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Pennsylvania has been devastated by the opioid epidemic affecting the United States. The commonwealth experienced the third-most overdose deaths in 2015 with 3,264. The majority of those deaths were caused by heroin or other opioids. The number of people dying from drug overdoses in the state increased by 20.1 percent between 2014 and 2015.
Pennsylvania Counties with the Most Drug Overdose Deaths in 2015:
Illicit Drugs Involved in Deadly Overdoses in Pennsylvania in 2015:
Opioids Involved in Deadly Overdoses in Pennsylvania in 2015:
Compared to the national average, more students in Pennsylvania had tried alcohol by eighth, 10th and 12th grade, according to the 2015 Pennsylvania Youth Survey. High school seniors were above the national average for lifetime cigarette and smokeless tobacco use. Eighth- and 12th-graders had higher rates of prescription narcotic use than their peers nationwide.
The survey included responses from Pennsylvania students in grades six, eight, 10 and 12. Between 2011 and 2015, past-month alcohol use declined by 5.1 percent among these students. Youth binge drinking also dropped 4.6 percent during that time.
Lifetime cigarette use dropped by 7 percent between 2011 and 2015, and past-month cigarette use dropped by about 3 percent.
Marijuana use gradually declined between 2011 and 2015. Lifetime use dropped by 1.7 percent, and past-month use declined by 1.3 percent.
During the last two years, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has implemented numerous initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania. He signed a law in 2016 that strengthened the state’s prescription drug monitoring program. The program is designed to reduce prescription drug abuse.
Wolf helped develop safe opioid prescribing guidelines for Pennsylvania, and he helped increase police officer access to naloxone. The drug reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. More than 2,000 overdose deaths were prevented in Pennsylvania because officers administered naloxone between 2015 and 2016.
“It’s an epidemic that is killing people all across the state,” Wolf said at an event announcing the new prescribing guidelines. “Rich and poor, rural, urban, male and female. It’s the reason that Republicans and Democrats have joined together in Harrisburg to try to find a way to address this.”
The governor also helped create 45 Centers of Excellence in Pennsylvania. The centers help people with opioid use disorders find and receive treatment.
Several organizations provide statewide programs to prevent substance abuse or assist people with substance use disorders. The programs connect individuals with treatment, educate the community about substance abuse or aid those who provide support services for people in recovery.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services provides mental health and substance abuse services to more than 2 million people through its HealthChoice Behavioral Health program. The program oversees behavioral health care in 67 counties. It helps individuals find mental health care and rehab through Medicaid services.
The Parent Panel Advisory Council provides guidance for the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. The council’s members share their personal experiences with substance abuse to advise health officials about various aspects of recovery.
Hosted by the University of Pittsburgh, OverdoseFreePA is a joint effort developed by six organizations and 16 communities throughout Pennsylvania. The collaboration strives to prevent overdoses by providing educational materials, overdose data, naloxone instruction, prescription drug take-back info and educational speakers.
EPISCenter was created from a collaboration between the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Prevention Research Center at Penn State University. The center provides several programs to prevent violence and substance abuse in the state. It also conducts the Pennsylvania Youth Survey.
The Commonwealth Prevention Alliance Campaign to Stop Opiate Abuse teaches parents, teachers and other community members about the risks of prescription drugs and heroin. It hosts an informational website and distributes educational materials to schools, workplaces and other organizations across the state.
Drug Free Workplace PA provides free counseling and advice to employers and employees throughout Pennsylvania. It connects workers with tools and resources for living drug-free lives. The organization also provides individual and group training sessions on substance abuse and mental health topics.
A member of the National Alliance for Recovery Residences, the Pennsylvania Alliance of Recovery Residences supports recovery housing in the Keystone State. The organization certifies sober living homes and provides a forum for networking and exchanging ideas. It also connects individuals looking for sober housing with certified homes.
The Pennsylvania Certification Board is one of two organizations that certify intervention professionals from across the United States. It also certifies mental health counselors, prevention experts and other addiction professionals. The board hosts an annual conference that provides training, networking and learning opportunities for mental health professionals.
Hundreds of thousands of people in Pennsylvania go to support group meetings every week. Those in recovery want to help others who are striving to find sobriety or trying to stay sober. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings are hosted in cities across Pennsylvania every morning, afternoon and evening.