Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a beautiful state that is steeped in rich history reaching back to before the Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, it also has a history of struggles with substance abuse. Currently, the opioid epidemic continues to rage on throughout the United States, and Pennsylvania is, unfortunately, no exception.

To better combat the drug crisis and save lives, Pennsylvania is working hard to make substance abuse treatment as accessible as possible. As more and more treatment centers become available in Pennsylvania, it becomes easier to find one that best suits your specific needs, although it can also make choosing the right treatment center feel a little overwhelming.

Addiction and Substance Abuse in Pennsylvania

According to a massive research study of all 50 states, as of 2018, Pennsylvania is ranked 10th in the country for highest overall drug use rates and has the fifth most overdose deaths per capita.

Much of this is because Pennsylvania sits near the center of the country’s opioid epidemic. Of the 4,642 reported overdose deaths in 2016, 2,235 were opioid-related. Another way to frame these numbers is a rate of nearly 19 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to the national average, which is about 13 deaths per 100,000 people.

Between 2010 and 2016, opioid-related overdose deaths increased in every category, with a 76 percent increase in prescription opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016 compared to 2010, and a staggering increase of more than 600 percent in heroin-related overdose deaths.

Most alarming is the 1,200-plus percent increase in fentanyl-related overdose deaths, skyrocketing from 98 deaths in 2010 to more than 1,300 in 2016.

Helpful Links



How Pennsylvania Is Addressing the Opioid Crisis

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has been making significant efforts to lower these numbers and turn the tide of the opioid crisis by enacting a wide variety of initiatives, including:

  • A prescription drug monitoring program
  • Training for first responders to help them better treat overdose victims
  • Standing orders for naloxone prescriptions
  • Direct referrals from primary care providers to substance abuse specialists

Pennsylvania is also the home of two of the 11 Centers of Excellence in Pain Education (CoEPE) in the United States. CoEPEs develop and distribute pain management curriculum and resources for medical, nursing, pharmacy, and other schools to improve how future health care professionals are taught about treating pain.

The greater distribution of this research helps to cut down on the overprescription of painkillers, which played a significant role at the beginning of what would become the opioid crisis.

What Is Substance Abuse Treatment?

Addiction is a chronic disease with no cure that requires lifelong management. However, substance abuse treatment exists to address and treat both the physical and psychological aspects of a person’s substance use disorder to avoid relapse and make addiction management easier.

Generally, when someone enters a substance abuse treatment program, they will start with medical detoxification, which is the process of getting them sober and stabilized by ridding their system of drugs and alcohol, and other toxins. This is done under the supervision of a medical detox team who is there to help with withdrawal symptoms and any potential health complications.

our services

Depending on factors like the severity of someone’s addiction and the substance they are detoxing from, this can be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis.

The next step after detox is to transition into ongoing care. Generally, an individual will begin at the highest and most intensive level of care and moving across the continuum of care to less intensive levels as the person progresses through recovery.

Not everyone will require every level of treatment, and not all substance abuse treatments will offer every level, but the progression through an addiction recovery program will typically include:

Within these different levels of care are a wide variety of addiction recovery therapies and treatment types that are used to provide those in treatment with the support, resources, education, and skills needed to understand and manage their addictions. Some common therapies include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Group counseling
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic or alternative therapy
  • Addiction education
  • Relapse prevention planning

Not every therapy will work for everyone, and people in recovery usually can customize their treatment plans to meet their specific needs.

What to Look for in a Substance Abuse Treatment Center

When seeking out substance abuse treatment in Pennsylvania, as with anywhere else, it is critical that you do the necessary research to make sure you choose the treatment center that best suits your or your loved one’s needs.

One of the most crucial things to remember is that not every substance abuse treatment center is going to offer all of the previously mentioned therapies or treatments. For example, some treatment centers do not utilize medication-assisted treatment, or they do not provide dual-diagnosis treatment for those with co-occurring disorders. If these are treatments necessary to your or your loved one’s recovery, make sure the treatment facilities you are considering provides these therapy options.

Here are other questions and considerations to keep in mind as you sort through the variety of substance abuse treatment centers located in Pennsylvania:

  • Does the treatment center have all of the necessary certifications and accreditation?
  • Does it offer evidence-based treatments backed by addiction research with a proven track record of success, such as cognitive behavioral therapy?
  • Does it offer specialized treatment options such as holistic therapy, dual diagnosis treatment, trauma therapy or medical maintenance therapy?
  • Does it take my insurance?
  • Does it provide aftercare services and support, such as an alumni program?

Ready to get help?

Let our treatment experts call you today.

Find Quality Substance Abuse Treatment at Serenity at Summit

If you or someone you care about is struggling with a substance use disorder, Serenity at Summit can help get you or your loved one on the path to recovery and a better future.

We are committed to providing the highest standard of substance abuse treatment in Pennsylvania, and we offer the full continuum of care to ensure a seamless transition from detox to ongoing treatment and beyond.

Call us at 844-326-4514 to speak with one of our specialists, who are on-call 24/7 to provide you with a free and confidential consultation, and answer any questions or concerns you might have about starting your recovery journey at Serenity at Summit.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to get the treatment you or your loved one needs. Call 844-326-4514 now or contact us online for more information.