Pittsburgh Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Pittsburgh is Pennsylvania’s second largest city by population and offers a variety of options for drug and alcohol treatment. This historic town is situated on the Allegheny Plateau and boasts a bustling downtown, with a history of steel-related and manufacturing businesses. Pittsburgh is also known as the City of Bridges for the 445 bridges that dot the area.

Substance Abuse in Pittsburgh

Substance Abuse in Pittsburgh

Across the United States, it’s estimated that 27.1 million people over the age of 12 suffer from a substance use disorder. In 2017, 735 overdose deaths occurred in Allegheny County according to the Office of the Medical Examiner.

In 2017, 735 overdose deaths occurred in Allegheny County (2)Multiple types of substances have been the subjects of the drug epidemic, with heroin overdoses prompting many people suffering from addiction to seek out a Pittsburgh drug and alcohol treatment center for help.

Some of the most commonly abused drugs in the Pittsburgh area include:

  • Heroin
  • Opioids and other prescription painkillers
  • Prescription CNS depressants and stimulants
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
Thirty percent of the people succumbing to drug overdoses in Pennsylvania are between the ages of 24 and 34. In light of so many young people suffering from substance use disorders, schools in the Pittsburgh area are striving to prevent drug use through programs aimed at school-aged youths to help them understand the dangers of substance abuse.

These programs may include assemblies with police officers, addiction counselors and people suffering from addiction speaking directly to a group of students. Many schools keep a supply of naloxone on hand in case of an overdose occurring on site.

One Pittsburgh School District uses LifeSkills Training, a program that begins in elementary school. The program teaches children the tools they need to resist drugs and ways to handle uncomfortable social situations and peer pressure.

The Alleghany County Department of Human Services projects they will spend $2.4 million to educate young people in Pittsburgh on the dangers of addiction.

One tech company in Pittsburgh is working on a wearable device that looks like a covered wristwatch. The Behaiviordevice is aimed at people recovering from a substance use disorder.

Currently, the company is focusing on those in recovery from an opioid addiction with hopes that the device will be expanded to assist others with their recovery. The device has optical sensors that can monitor heart rate and other bodily information. When someone is in recovery, and exhibiting behaviors that indicate a craving state, inaction to address the cravings can lead to relapse.

When a craving state occurs, a person’s heart rate becomes elevated and stress builds up in the body. The device sends an alert to the person, suggesting ways to cope with the situation. Checking in with a sponsor or practicing mindful meditation may be suggested. While these devices are still in development, attending and completing a drug treatment program is the most effective way to accomplish long-term sobriety.

The Workplace and Addiction

The Workplace and Addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction has an impact on the workplace in Pittsburgh. The Allegheny Institute of Public policy estimates that the costs for health care, crime, and lost wages and benefits are $472 million for opioid medicine abuse and $350 million for heroin.

When employees are suffering from substance addiction, the costs to the workplace is measured by a loss of productivity, accidents, on-the-job injuries and death. A majority of those struggling with drugs and alcohol are employed. Marijuana is the most common illegal substance used by employees, with cocaine and opioids close behind.

Companies are impacted by employees with a substance use disorder. They may come to work late, leave early, take long breaks or even sleep on the job. The trouble with concentration and focus due to substance abuse can have a negative effect on judgment and efficiency, keeping morale among co-workers low.

When absenteeism or the inability to perform a job becomes an issue, someone is likely to lose his or her job because of substance use.

Staying Sober in Pittsburgh

Staying Sober in Pittsburgh

There are plenty of activities to enjoy in Pittsburgh that don’t involve drugs or alcohol. While in recovery for addiction, it’s best to avoid going out with friends who are still engaging in drug and alcohol-related pastimes. In order to avoid relapse, it’s a good idea to steer clear of bars and other environments that will trigger a return to using substances for you.

Here are a few suggestions for making the most of your recreational time after undergoing Pittsburgh drug and alcohol treatment:

  1. See Stars: Check out the Carnegie Science Center Observatory’s SkyWatch Evenings. On a clear night, you can observe the stars and planets using the state-of-the-art telescope at the observatory for very inexpensive admission and a parking fee.
  2. Go Bowling: There are midnight bowling competitions on most weekends at many local bowling alleys. Go with a group or a friend and enjoy a few friendly games.
  3. Rides and Games: Spend a few hours or an entire day at Kennywood Amusement Park. A Night Rider Pass give you park access from 5:00 pm until closing time.
  4. Museums: You’re missing out if you haven’t been to the Andy Warhol Museum, especially on Friday evenings when the place stays open late and offers up live entertainment.
  5. Go Kayaking: Whether you want to enjoy kayaking on the river in the sunshine or at night beneath a full moon, you can get a guided tour of the city while kayaking in Pittsburgh. This is a great way to see the city skyline and get in some fun exercise as well.
  6. Full of Hot Air: If you want an awesome view that goes on for miles, take a hot air balloon ride. One company launches balloons from fields in nearby Monroeville, Zelienople, and Finleyville.
  7. Take in Some Culture: Oakland and the South Side offer up some wonderful theater options, as well as Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. Take in a play or musical, and perhaps discover the next big comedy or drama.
  8. Get Outdoors: Take a hike at one of the many hiking trails in the area. There are at least 10 trails near Pittsburgh to choose from to stay fit and heighten your mood.

Finding Help in Pittsburgh

Finding Help in Pittsburgh

If you’re seeking professional help for yourself or for a young adult you care about who is suffering from addiction, you don’t need to look further than the surrounding Pittsburgh area.

Silvermist Recovery is an addiction treatment center located on a picturesque campus in rustic Renfrew, Pennsylvania, which is about a 45-minute drive from the center of Pittsburgh.

This 30-acre campus is set among rolling hills and wide open spaces, making it a relaxing atmosphere for finding your sobriety among new friends and professional treatment counselors.

Silvermist offers its residents a holistic approach to addiction recovery to integrate health and wellness into a program for recovery. The therapeutic programs at Silvermist include some of the same recreational and wellness activities you may wish to continue post-recovery:

  • Yoga exercise, including mindful meditation
  • Exercise programs
  • Nutritional education and support
  • Equine therapy
  • Art therapy


BioSound Healing Therapy is also offered at Silvermist Recovery. This type of innovative therapy combines biofeedback, music therapy, massage and guided imagery to work on any past trauma in your life.

Weekend visits from family members who wish to be involved in your recovery efforts are welcome at Silvermist to partake in educational and counseling sessions. If your family’s presence at the center is difficult to accomplish, phone sessions are also available.

Residents at Silvermist receive the treatment necessary for recovery in an atmosphere that boasts relaxing amenities, featuring a stress-reducing sauna, a movie theater, billiards games, large television sets in common areas, a gourmet kitchen, fitness center to stay in shape and exercise. A heated swimming pool and pristine walking paths make living at Silvermist as comfortable and tranquil as possible as you work towards recovery. Separate residences for men and women are home to a small number of clients.

Each person who sets foot into Silvermist Recovery is an individual, with unique needs that require specific treatment modalities and counseling. The Pittsburgh drug and alcohol treatment center at Silvermist has a full clinical staff on hand who are licensed and experienced in the field of addiction treatment and are ready to help you make the positive changes in your life with the development of an individualized treatment plan.