Pennsylvania Opiate Addiction Treatment

Opiate addiction is a serious, debilitating disease, which disrupts millions of American lives on a daily basis. Opiates, also known as narcotics, are commonly found in teh form of painkillers such as codeine and morphine. Heroin is also considered an opiate. Because opiates are widely available, primarily through legally and illegally obtained prescriptions, the incidence of addiction is increasing across every state in the nation. In Pennsylvania, over 6,700 people enter treatment for opiate addiction every year. With almost 400 nearly fatal opiate overdoses on average in this state, 90 individuals die every year from their addiction. In Pennsylvania, the cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have seen increased incidences of opiate dependence and addiction.

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  • Opioid addicts will often abuse any drug they can obtain in order to get the high they seek. This can sometimes lead to overdose, as certain drugs are more intense than others.
  • Medications for opioid addiction treatment can be used in a number of different ways: they can manage withdrawal symptoms, help prevent relapse, and treat co-occurring disorders like depression (National Institute on Drug Abuse).
  • Those who are looking to begin recovery in a rehab center often go through an intake process where they answer questions, receive an examination, and work with their doctor to create a treatment program that suits their needs.
  • Behavioral therapies can be extremely helpful in a one-on-one situation, but many individuals also benefit from group therapy, either in a professional setting, as part of family or couples therapy, or in a support group.
  • Opioid addiction requires long-term treatment in many cases. Some individuals, like those who receive methadone maintenance as a part of recovery, may stay in their treatment programs indefinitely (NIDA).


  • According to the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office, “Heroin and opioid overdose are now the leading cause of accidental death in Pennsylvania,” causing more deaths than motor vehicle accidents.
  • At least ten Pennsylvania residents are killed every day as the result of a drug overdose (PGO).
  • In 2015, the percentage of past year use of heroin use in Pennsylvania was 0.55, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health services Administration. This was higher than the national average (NIDA).
  • Heroin was the most frequently identified drug in toxicology reports in Pennsylvania in 2015 with 55 percent of overdose victims showing the presence of heroin in their systems (Drug Enforcement Administration). Fentanyl was the second most frequently identified drug at 27 percent.
  • In Philadelphia specifically, the number of unintentional drug overdoses has skyrocketed between 2013 and 2015, increasing from just over 400 to nearly 700 (Philadelphia Department of Public Health).


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