How to Get Drug Treatment in Altoona, PA

Altoona, Pennsylvania is one of the many communities facing the drug epidemic. Knowing more about the area, its history, the ways in which the city responds to drug issues gives you the power to make decisions about living in and around Altoona, both pre- and post-recovery from substance abuse.

Altoona’s Beginnings

Altoona, in Blair County, Pennsylvania, was once a major railroad town in the mid-1800s, especially during the Civil War, when locomotives were important methods of transportation to and from Gettysburg. The Pennsylvania Railroad helped develop Altoona so heavy-duty locomotives could be easily maintained and switched onto trains crossing the Allegheny Mountains.

The city of Altoona sits just 100 miles east of Pittsburgh, the state’s second most populated city after Philadelphia. Although it’s not clear how the name “Altoona” was chosen, there are some theories about the city’s chosen name. Since much of Altoona’s population has Germanic roots, it may have derived from a German town called Altona, which is currently part of Hamburg. There is also a Cherokee word “allatoona” that means high lands of great worth. The Native American Cherokee tribe populated eastern Pennsylvania in colonial times.

Altoona Today

The city of Altoona has a thriving population of more than 45,200 people whose median age is 38.3 years old. A large majority of adults 25 years old and above attained their high school or higher degree. The median annual household income in Altoona is estimated at $36,249, well below the median income in Pennsylvania overall. Real estate property such as houses and condos, cost less in Altoona than in some other parts of the state.

Although salaries are not very high in Altoona, it is a relatively inexpensive cost of living, and the crime rate is lower than other US city averages. Most people living in Altoona work in retail or manufacturing, with smaller percentages of workers in the construction, transportation, food service and health fields.

Penn State University at Altoona has a full-time enrollment of 3600 students, making the city somewhat of a college town with about 12% of its population between the ages of 18 and 22.

Drugs and Crime in Altoona

The overall crime rate in Altoona may be low by average US city standards, but that does not mean the area is free of crime, particularly drug trafficking offenses. The State Attorney General’s office announced charges filed against a large narcotics ring that had been operating in the Altoona and Johnstown areas. The illegal group was called the Dragon Heroin Pipeline, dealing more than 700,000 bags of heroin and cocaine within one year. The 16 dealers arrested trafficked in drugs coming out of the Philadelphia region.

In fact, the Attorney General (AG) has conducted seven major drug sweeps in the Altoona region together with the Blair County Drug Task Force over a 15-month period. The drugs that were confiscated include:

  • Heroin
  • Opioids
  • Cocaine
  • Illegal prescription medications being sold on the street, such as oxycodone and suboxone.

5 Arrests a Day

The AG’s office and the county task force has averaged nearly five drug dealer arrests per day, and have increased the arrest of physicians and other medical workers for illegally diverting prescription drugs.

Altoona’s War on Drugs

The Altoona Police Department has been concentrating efforts on tracking and arresting street level drug dealers, with undercover officers purchasing the following substances:

  • Suboxone
  • Methadone
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Crack cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • Heroin
Residents can also make a call to the Push Out the Pusher Hotline to help police in their investigations. Funding for the hotline is provided by Operation Out Town, a local organization composed of community leaders and business owners to promote healthy neighborhoods and protect residents from illegal drug use and crime resulting from drug trafficking and abuse. Operation Our Town’s website lists the signs of drug use for citizens to recognize.

The Operation Our Town site has a link to the Blair Drug & Alcohol Partnership’s (BDAP) website, a nonprofit group working towards the prevention and elimination of substance abuse through Altoona Pennsylvania drug and alcohol treatment referrals and education information. BDAP offers programs and information associated with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) suspensions, including a highway safety class, for educational purposes.

A Minors Diversionary Program targets underage drinking via a 6-hour educational course. An addiction assessment test is also on site to help self-determine whether you are suffering from an addiction to substances, with advice on how and where to get drug rehab in Altoona.

How Substance Addiction Affects Altoona

Unfortunately, one of the main problems affecting Altoona and its surrounding county is the illegal drug problem. There is an ever-increasing number of drug overdose fatalities occurring in Blair County, with 52 deaths counted in 2017. Younger people and senior citizens are becoming dependent upon opioids that were originally prescribed for pain management. Any age group is at risk for drug abuse.

Fifty-four percent of drivers involved in fatal car crashes in 2016 tested positive for drugs, with approximately 20% of those testing positive for opioids and 41% for marijuana.

Drug Rehab for Altoona Workers

The labor force is suffering in Altoona, as a result of drug use and abuse. For employees are under the age of 50, a drug overdose is the leading cause of death for people in that age group. In fact, Altoona employers are finding it difficult to find new hires who can pass drug tests. The number of overdoses even in those over the age of 50 is steadily increasing. Over 10% of full-time employees and 13.2% of part-timers aged 18 and up reported using illegal drugs over a 30-day time period.

Drug and alcohol use leads to more absenteeism at work, and those who abuse substances are five times more likely to file a workman’s compensation claim. This hurts companies’ productivity enormously. Employees using drugs also increase on-the-job accidents, crime in the workplace, an increase in turnover and higher health care premiums.

Drug Rehab Aftercare in Altoona

If you or someone in your life is struggling with substance abuse, help in a drug and alcohol treatment facility is close to Altoona, Pennsylvania. Once you have completed a residential stay for treatment and are in recovery, it’s good to know that Altoona has many sober fun and entertaining opportunities to spend your downtime after work and on weekends.

If you keep your distance from old locations and people with whom you associate your time with drug use, you can thrive in Altoona and live a healthy, sober lifestyle that is not boring. Take part in active fun to exercise your body and take part in some of Altoona’s cultural and entertainment spots for social and educational interactions.

  • Lakemont Park: This fun water and amusement park is for people of all ages to enjoy. It’s presently being renovated into a family entertainment center and community park for even more activities that will include go-karts, batting cages and a mini-golf course.
  • Peoples Natural Gas Field is a beautiful ballpark that is home to the Pittsburgh Pirates farm club, the Altoona Curve. Music festivals are held here, too! Go with a group of like-minded friends and take in a game or concert.
  • Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum: Spend some time exploring the beginnings of the railroad in Altoona and learn about the world famous Horseshoe Curve, an incredible engineering feat.
  • Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark: You can learn about this site and then go there to view the unusual construction of rail-building as you feel the ground move when a train goes around a curve every 15 minutes.
  • Galactic Ice: Ice skating is a great physical activity that you can take part in all year round at this skating rink.
  • Holiday Bowl: Go out for an evening of bowling fun at this 40-lane alley.
  • Go to the movies: Choose from 12 films at the AMC Altoona.
  • Escape Rooms: Exercise your brain with a group think at an escape room in Altoona.
  • Listen to Live Music: There are plenty of music opportunities to enjoy in Altoona, especially in the warmer weather months. A Summer Sounds Concert Series takes place on Friday evenings at Heritage Plaza in downtown Altoona. There’s the Blue Knob Clubhouse hosting a bluegrass festival at their pavilion. Check out the news listings for other events and venues, some of which are free.

You might also enjoy visiting Benzels Pretzel Bakery for a pretzel or the Boyer Candy factory outlet for a good deal on snacks and sweets.

Altoona Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Treatment

For substance abuse treatment in a relaxed, tranquil atmosphere, come to Silvermist Recovery in Renfrew, Pennsylvania, just a couple of hours west of Altoona. Our young adult addiction treatment residential program is small, so it can be highly individualized to meet each individual’s needs.

Call our 24-hour hotline at 1 (855) 860-3282 for confidential information about our services that offer three private drug and alcohol treatment center residences amidst the rolling hills on our gorgeous campus. There is no obligation to attend. We welcome you to take a tour of our property and speak with a clinical staff member before you make this life-changing decision.