Top Pennsylvania Addiction Rehab Centers

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Get the Help You Need: Drug Rehab in Pennsylvania

Going to drug rehab is the first step in reclaiming your life. Despite what many people think, overcoming addiction isn’t a matter of using willpower. Failure to abstain from drugs or alcohol on your own isn’t a sign of weakness. Instead, it’s an indication of illness. Also known as substance use disorder, addiction is recognized as a chronic, lifelong disease. Addiction affects the brain and its functioning, alters the brain’s chemistry, and takes away the power to choose. When you go to drug rehab in Pennsylvania, you’ll have the chance to learn more about what addiction really is. More importantly, you’ll develop the right skills and tools for successfully managing your addiction over time.

Drug Use in Pennsylvania

Addiction can happen to anyone. In fact, many people who currently struggle with addiction never imagined themselves abusing substances before. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) describes the availability of fentanyl and heroin in Pennsylvania as ubiquitous. According to the DEA, 97% of all Pennsylvania counties are impacted by these drugs. In 2020, Pennsylvania reported a pandemic-related surge in opioid use that resulted in an average of 13 drug-related deaths each day.

How to Know if Drug or Alcohol Rehab in Pennsylvania Is Right for You

Drug abuse differs from recreational use in that those who abuse drugs regularly experience severe consequences as a result. These consequences can include:

– Housing instability
– Loss of employment
– Widespread health issues
– Unpleasant or unwanted changes in physical appearance
– The loss of important personal relationships
– Legal charges
– The loss of minor children

For people who abuse drugs, “getting high” increasingly becomes a top priority. The negative effects that substance use has on their lives are of no consequence. Drug abuse becomes an addiction when deciding to stop using is no longer an option. When people are addicted to drugs, they cannot abstain without developing intense physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Attempting to quit a substance when you’re addicted to it can make you downright miserable. Moreover, if your initial withdrawal symptoms aren’t properly mitigated, they can intensify. For some substances, unmanaged withdrawal can cause lasting harm.

What Does It Mean to Be Addicted?

Going “cold turkey” when you’re addicted to drugs will quickly reveal the severity of your situation. Physical withdrawal symptoms are the distress signals that the body sends out when a substance that it’s become dependent upon is suddenly taken away. To understand why the body reacts like this, it is vital to know how drugs impact the brain.

When you take a substance that creates feelings of euphoria, it works by artificially stimulating your central nervous system’s reward center. This incites the release of powerful chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Chemicals like dopamine and gamma-Aminobutyric acid flood the body to provide a sense of relaxation, happiness, and increased confidence. Under normal circumstances, these chemicals are used by the central nervous system (CNS) to reward beneficial behaviors. For instance, you might get a dopamine surge after having a hearty laugh with friends, completing a challenging workout, or successfully performing a complex, work-related task. Neurotransmitters that are naturally released by the CNS make people feel good about doing good for themselves. As a result, they motivate people to return to these same activities.

However, when neurotransmitters are repeatedly triggered by prescribed or illicit substances, they eventually become worn out. Certain neurotransmitters misfire and are released in abundance. Others are hardly produced or released at all. When the brain and body have become dependent upon a substance that’s being abused, many neurotransmitters cannot be produced, triggered, or released without it. Not only does this lead to fewer feelings of relaxation, euphoria, and general happiness, but it also causes various functions throughout the body to go haywire. This is because neurotransmitters aren’t just “feel good” chemicals. Some have a hand in things like temperature regulation, memory, balance, and nausea control.

Why Drug Addiction Is Currently Recognized as a Mental Disorder

Disrupting the natural production and release of important neurotransmitters makes it virtually impossible for people to enjoy mood balance. Prolonged drug abuse creates the chemical conditions within the brain for disease. When substances are suddenly stopped, many people struggle with low levels of motivation. They have a hard time making decisions, and they frequently deal with extreme mood balance issues. Drug abuse can cause sleep troubles, problems focusing, and more. Certain substances can even cause the symptoms of dementia.

Finding the Right Rehab Center in Pennsylvania

Although going to rehab in Pennsylvania is a great way to start the recovery process, it’s important to find a treatment center that offers a needs-specific range of services. There are many risk factors for addiction. These are things that make people more predisposed to developing substance use disorder. They include:

– Genetic predisposition
– Past trauma
– Inherent differences in brain structure and brain functioning
– Insufficient social support
– Low levels of distress tolerance

Although some risk factors, such as genetic predisposition and variations in brain structure, cannot be changed, others must be addressed in rehab. For instance, if you’re easily frustrated by unexpected developments and experience tremendous stress when things don’t go your way, you likely have a low tolerance for distress. Finding a rehab center that offers behavioral therapies for building distress tolerance will increase your odds of success in recovery. Once your treatment is done, you’ll be able to face a variety of challenges in the outside world without being tempted to use.

Getting Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders in Rehab

Among the top risk factors for addiction are co-occurring disorders. These are mental health issues that exist simultaneously with a substance use disorder. According to a 2018 survey on national drug use and health, approximately 9.2 million U.S. adults have a co-occurring disorder.

Treatment for co-occurring disorders is sometimes referred to as dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment is a critical service to look for if you have or believe you may have:

– Bipolar disorder
– Major depressive disorder
– Panic disorder
– General anxiety disorder
– Schizophrenia
– Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Undiagnosed and untreated mental health issues put people at a high risk of relapse. Until these conditions are known and effectively managed, the mental and emotional anguish they cause can push people to self-treat. In fact, many problems with addiction are the direct result of self-treating undiagnosed mental health disorders in harmful and habit-forming ways.

What’s the Relationship Between Co-Occurring Disorders and Addiction?

Addiction often develops as the result of co-occurring disorders that aren’t being medically managed. When people cannot find healthy, sustainable ways of alleviating their discomfort, they often turn to alcohol, illicit substances, or prescription drugs that don’t belong to them. Sadly, however, this manner of self-medicating mental health issues frequently backfires. The same symptoms that people hope to relieve by self-treating often intensify over time. In some instances, extreme and prolonged substance abuse may even create the symptoms of mental health disorders that didn’t exist before.

Is Inpatient or Outpatient Addiction Treatment Right for You?

Choosing between inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment is an important part of starting your recovery. Inpatient treatment is the best choice for anyone who has multiple risk factors for relapse. Inpatient treatment is held on a closed campus. Clients must remain onsite throughout the entirety of their treatment. This is to both prevent access to illicit substances and ensure that all residents feel safe and secure. It also removes people in recovery from toxic relationships, toxic environments, outside stressors, and other harmful triggers.

Outpatient treatment requires diligent self-management. Patients attend counseling and work with case managers throughout the day, but they’re able to return home on the weekends and each evening. These programs are flexible enough to accommodate work or school schedules. They are also offered in varying levels of intensity. Standard outpatient programs (OPs) require a weekly commitment of approximately seven to 12 hours. Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) require a weekly commitment of 32 to 35 hours.

The Difference Between Basic OPs and IOPs

OPs are often recommended as follow-up treatment for those who have completed an inpatient program but need more time in structured treatment. IOPs offer many of the same therapies and medical services that inpatient rehab centers do, but they cost less, allow clients to spend time with their families, and make it possible to continue handling outside responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Partial Hospitalization Program

Another common type of outpatient treatment is a partial hospitalization program (PHP). PHPs are sometimes called day rehabs or day programs. Clients visit PHP facilities each morning and leave at the end of the day. These programs provide advanced medical support for people on managed withdrawal or weaning schedules. PHPs are structured to meet the needs of people in opioid/opiate recovery or benzodiazepine recovery when an alternative to inpatient treatment is needed or preferred.

How Rehab Makes Lifelong Sobriety Possible

Addiction isn’t a curable illness. As such, recovery is an ongoing, lifelong journey that requires continued support. Many people follow drug rehab with relapse prevention programs, time spent in sober living facilities, or sober meetings. They also align themselves with sober sponsors, accountability partners, or support groups. Ultimately, however, it is rehab that sets the stage for successful recovery. In the right program, you can gain a better understanding of what addiction really is. You’ll have ample time to learn new coping strategies, improve your distress tolerance, practice effective stress management techniques, and plan for a stable, sustainable lifestyle.

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Reviewed By:

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis completed medical school at The University of Mississippi Medical Center and residency in general psychiatry in 2003. He completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2005. Following this, he served as Chief Medical Officer for 10 years of Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare a private health system including a 105-bed hospital, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient services.

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