Pennsylvania is a state that’s steeped in American history, and its beautiful northeastern landscapes complement its vibrant urban centers. However, like most of the country, the state has been negatively impacted by the recent addiction crisis of the past decade. In 2018, there were 67,367 overdose deaths in the country. Millions of people struggle with substance use disorders in the United States, but only a small portion of them get the treatment that they need.

Access to drug rehab can help alleviate public health issues related to drug addiction and overdose. Learn more about substance abuse trends in Pennsylvania and how important access to drug rehab is in the state.

Pennsylvania Drug Rehab Statistics

Opioids are a significant cause of the spike in addiction and overdose in the United States and Pennsylvania. In 2018, 65 percent of drug overdose deaths involved opioids and totaled 2,866 fatal overdoses. Opioid use disorders can be caused by exposure to illicit opioids, but it can also start with the abuse of prescription opioids.

A therapist and his client discussing morphine addiction

Prescription opioid abuse can lead to dependence, and when it becomes too difficult to obtain pain pills, people turn to illicit opioids like heroin. In Pennsylvania, healthcare providers wrote 49.9 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people, which is slightly less than the national average, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Opioids aren’t the only drugs abused in Pennsylvania. Alcohol is a significant substance of abuse in the northeastern U.S. According to a Health and Human Services survey, 31 percent of Pennsylvania high-school students reported drinking at least one drink in the 30 days before the survey. They also reported that 13 percent of high-schoolers binge drank in the past 30 days.

Most Commonly Abused Substances in Pennsylvania

Alcohol and marijuana are the most popularly abused substances in the United States. Besides marijuana, heroin is the illicit drug that’s the easiest to obtain. Prescription opioids and fentanyl are also extremely common. Benzodiazepines are prescription depressants that are fairly common to abuse for alcohol-like intoxications. Common central nervous stimulants include amphetamines and the powerful methamphetamine. Cocaine, another stimulant, is also commonly used for its intense highs.

Polydrug use is also popular among people seeking a recreational high. However, this is a dangerous thing to do. Using two or more drugs together can increase the risk of experiencing dangerous side effects or an overdose. Opioids, benzodiazepines, and alcohol are all extremely dangerous to mix because doing so can lead to respiratory depression in relatively small doses.

Quick Treatment Facts

Addiction is a chronic disease that affects the reward center of the brain. The illness is also progressive, which means it can worsen if ignored and left untreated. Although there is no cure for addiction, substance use disorders can be treated with several evidence-based approaches.

Drug rehab involves a process that addresses a person’s physical, psychological, and social needs. Addiction requires personalized treatment that addresses underlying issues such as mental health issues and medical conditions. It also should last as long as needed for it to give the person the best chance for a successful recovery.

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