Pennsylvania Drug & Alcohol Rehab Centers

The state of Pennsylvania has various drug and alcohol rehab centers for individuals who struggle with substance abuse. Finding the best treatment center may prove to be a challenging task for some; therefore, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about drug and alcohol rehab facilities in PA.

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Drug & Alcohol Rehab Centers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Substance abuse and alcoholism in Pennsylvania has increased significantly over the past generation. There is a significant difference in substance abuse and alcoholism between Western and Eastern Pennsylvania, where New York and New Jersey have large populations. As of 2018, Allegheny, Beaver, Washington, Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware counties were designated as "high-intensity drug trafficking areas". This includes major metropolitan areas such as Philadelphia.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that from 1999 through 2018, drug overdose deaths have steadily increased from around 1,000 to just over 4,000. In recent years, the number of deaths attributed to opioid overdose has also increased. In 2018, 65% of drug overdose deaths were from opioid abuse. This amounts to 2,866 opioid overdose deaths in 2018. While in 2018, Pennsylvania was below the U.S. prescriptions per 100 people rate at 49.9 (U.S. rate is 51.4), this isn't saying much. That is still quite a few opioids prescriptions filled. In 2016, the Pew Charitable Trust found that Allegheny County had the most opioid deaths in the nation.

Drug Trafficking in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is the 5th largest city in the country and surrounded by one of the world's greatest population densities. To drug dealers, this means finding customers with relative ease. Eastern Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, is an international hub of drug trafficking activity.

The most common drugs trafficked in Pennsylvania are marijuana and cocaine.. However, the North Eastern U.S. has access to heroin and methamphetamine. There is also substantial trafficking of illegally obtained opioids that contribute to the opioid abuse epidemic. Interstate 95 runs from Florida up the East Coast through Philadelphia and up to Maine. This makes I-95 a significant drug trafficking corridor.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a central shipping hub with freight coming in from surface modes from California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Texas. These are states where most illicit drugs come from. For example, cocaine and methamphetamine are smuggled across or under the Californian and Texas borders. In the northern part of the state where it meets Lake Erie, motorcycle gangs smuggle marijuana in from Canada.

Of course, with any high-intensity drug trafficking area that includes a dense population, there will be high crime rates. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is not immune to gang-related violence and property crime. This seems to go hand-in-hand with income disparity in minority areas. Indeed, there are very few jobs available in some areas, making drug dealing a welcome income source for some.

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The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Drug Laws

Pennsylvania gets its definitions and criminal penalties from The Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act of 1972. This Act basically follows the schedule of controlled substances enacted by the Food and Drug Administration.

According to the above Act, a Schedule I controlled substance is defined as: "a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision." Many dozens of opioid medicines in Schedule 1 are no longer legally produced in the U.S. Heroin, Marijuana, and many hallucinogens are also Schedule 1. GHB or MDMA is in this category.

A Schedule II controlled substance is defined as: "a high potential for abuse, currently accepted medical use in the United States, or currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions, and abuse may lead to severe psychic or physical dependence." Schedule 2 controlled substances include the many different legally prescribed pain medicines and cocaine, including crack cocaine.

A Schedule III controlled substance is defined as: "a potential for abuse less than the substances listed in Schedules I and II; well documented and currently accepted medical use in the United States; and abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence." These include Vicodin, Tylenol with codeine, Suboxone, Ketamine, and Anabolic steroids, to name just a few.

A Schedule IV controlled substance is defined as: "a low potential for abuse relative to substances in Schedule III; currently accepted medical use in the United States; and limited physical and/or psychological dependence liability relative to the substances listed in Schedule III". This list contains relaxants such as Xanax, Soma, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan.

In reviewing the above schedules, notice that Schedule I drugs' definition does not include the words "severe psychic or physical dependence". The reason for this is there is not research about severe psychic or physical dependence on these drugs. However, that does not mean it does not exist, as many drug addicts will attest to.

Pennsylvania and Marijuana

Unlike many other states in the U.S., the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has not legalized marijuana for recreational use. However, in 2016 voters made marijuana legal for medicinal use. Contrary to popular belief, marijuana can be addictive with chronic use at high doses. While many cities have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, the Commonwealth's criminal code lists possession as a crime. Technically speaking, in Pennsylvania, marijuana is a Schedule I drug. Depending on what someone does with it, possession with intent to sell and/or deliver can mean twenty-five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. The moral of this story, it isn't worth it. Get Help today before it's too late.

  • 30 grams or less is a misdemeanor with up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. First-time marijuana offenders do sometimes get no verdict probation.
  • More than 30 grams means 1 year in jail, a $5,000 fine, and the loss of your driver's license for six months. You could also be charged with intent to deliver or distribute (drug dealing).
  • Second and subsequent offense possession charges might mean fines and jail time doubles.
  • Other Drug Laws in Pennsylvania

    Possession of other Controlled Substances like heroin, cocaine, LSD/acid, ecstasy/MMDA, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs such as Vicodin and Oxycontin or illegal Steroids carry stiff fines and prison time.

  • The first offense for possession of a controlled substance includes up to a year in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. The second offense for possession of a controlled substance includes up to two years in prison.
  • The third offense for possession of a controlled substance includes up to three years in prison.
  • If you get caught with five grams or more of crack cocaine, you will spend a minimum of five years in prison.
  • Penalties can go as high as twenty-five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for big-time drug dealers and manufacturers. This includes any controlled substance in Schedules I and II, which by Pennsylvania law are considered narcotics.

    Possessing materials to manufacture methamphetamine and/or cocaine over 1,000 pounds equals ten years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

    Possession of drug paraphernalia or selling and/or distributing marijuana will get you up to one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. Pennsylvania drug laws include penalties for dealing drugs with a minor. The charge becomes a felony with up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

    Pennsylvania Alcohol Statistics

    Pennsylvania ranks 16th in the nation among the heaviest drinking states. Additionally, 60% of all Pennsylvania adults drink alcohol. In Philadelphia alone, almost 1 in 3 teenagers or young adults died from alcohol use. On average, each adult in Pennsylvania drinks 2.34 gallons of alcohol per year and there are geographically 3.6 breweries per 100,000 residents. That's quite a large amount of beer.

    In 2018-2019 Pennsylvania residents spent $2.5 billion on alcohol and wine - this doesn't even include beer. This is a 3% jump over the last year. In 2015, 26.7% of Pennsylvania's adults aged 18-44 reported heavy or binge drinking. This is above the U.S. national average of 25.2%. The highest rate of heavy or binge drinking occurs in Pennsylvania's Hispanic population at 21.1%. In 2017, two for every 100,000 people died due to alcohol-related incidents in Pennsylvania.

    Pennsylvania Alcohol Laws

    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a unique history when it comes to alcohol laws. For example, the state's alcohol laws are prohibition orientated. As you probably already know, there used to be a Constitutional Amendment outlawing any beverage that contained alcohol from being produced in the U.S. However, when the prohibition of alcohol at the national level was repealed in 1933, the governor didn't support repeal. He put together a General Assembly and persuaded it to form the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. The Board's purpose was to make alcohol purchases as expensive as possible to discourage people from drinking. Traditions sometimes last, and modern alcohol laws still reflect the discouragement for drinking distilled spirits.

    The minimum drinking age is 21. However, there are some circumstances where someone as young as 17 can tend to bar. The school district must declare that the teenager cannot learn any more from schooling, or be a legal adult through emancipation.

    There is zero tolerance for anyone under 21 to drive with any alcohol in their system. In other words, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) cannot be higher than 0.02%. It's even illegal for anyone under 21 to drink communion wine. It is also illegal to be an under 21 designated driver for people who were at a party.

    In Pennsylvania, the government regulates that stores operate from 9 am to 10 pm Monday through Saturday and 11 am to 7 pm on Sunday. These stores sell wine and alcohol but not beer. Bars and restaurants cannot sell more than four bottles of wine or 192 ounces of beer in one purchase. Bars must close at 2 am, except for private parties, which must close at 3:30 am.

    The BAC for drivers 21 and over is .08%. Penalties for drunk driving can vary from judge to judge. However, there are guidelines they need to follow.

    First Conviction

    Driving with a BAC of 0.08% to 0.99% is six-month probation and a $300 fine. If the BAC is between 0.10% and 0.159%, you could spend from two days to six months in jail with a $500 to $5,000 fine. There is also a one-year driver's license suspension, but the judge can reduce it to 60 days. A BAC over .16% is the same penalty but with the minimum fine of $1,000.

    Second Conviction

    Second convictions for drunk driving have the same BAC levels, but the penalties get stiffer. For example, minimum jail times go up to five days but not longer than six months at the first BAC tier. The second BAC tier is a minimum of 30 days in jail. A second conviction at .16% BAC is 90 days to five years in prison. After the second conviction, you will need to pay for an ignition breathalyzer lock.

    Third Conviction

    By this time, if a drunk driver has not learned their lesson, the penalties become very harsh. The lowest BAC tier is a minimum of ten days in jail. The next BAC tier it's 90 days in jail. The highest BAC tier carries penalties like those of the second conviction. Remember that drunk driving could get you a mandatory five-year prison term if you are a habitual drunk driver.

    Get the Help you Need Before It's Too Late

    If any part of this page sounds familiar to you, please seek addiction and/or alcoholism treatment. We are here to help in any way we can. Pennsylvania has a wide variety of treatment and rehabilitation centers. From inpatient to outpatient, call someone today.

    Recovering from drug and/or alcohol addiction is hard work, but the first step is seeking treatment. Contact Addiction Helpline America today to learn more about the treatment options available for you. We're here to help 24/7. We also have convenient tools that will help you.

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    Education And Information About Addiction

    There are a range of websites providing easily accessible information about substance use disorders.

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

    Has free resources and publications, including pamphlets for families where addiction is present, information on family therapy, and what is involved in substance use disorder treatment and a treatment finder tool.

    The National Institute on Drug Abuse

    Has provided helpful, easy-to-read drug facts. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism also contains information about alcohol and alcohol use disorder.

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

    This crisis hotline can help with a lot of issues, not just suicide. For example, anyone who feels sad, hopeless, or suicidal; family and friends who are concerned about a loved one; victims of bullying; or anyone who is interested in mental health treatment referrals can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Callers are connected with a professional who will talk with them about what they’re feeling or concerns for other family and friends.

    NIDA for Teens

    The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) developed this website. Teens can get facts about drugs and drug effects, read advice from fellow teens, watch educational videos, download cool anti-drug stuff, and try their hand at brain games.

    Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

    Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help other recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees, and AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization, or institution.

    Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

    Narcotics Anonymous is a 12-step fellowship of recovering addicts. Membership is open to all drug addicts, regardless of the particular drug or combination of drugs used. Meetings are free.


    Al-Anon is a free, nonprofit organization that supports and provides literature to family members and friends of alcoholics.


    Nar-Anon is a 12-step program designed to help relatives and friends of addicts recover from the effects of living with an addicted relative or friend.

    Families Against Narcotics

    At Families Against Narcotics, we believe that compassion > stigma, and we assist individuals and families affected by substance use disorder with the respect, empathy, and compassion they deserve.