Pennsylvania Addiction Treatment
During 2006, there were 69,803 admissions to alcohol and drug treatment centers in Pennsylvania. There were 76,595 such treatment admissions during 2005. In 2004, there were a similar number of admissions to drug treatment programs in the state. Approximately 252,000 Pennsylvania citizens reported needing but not receiving treatment for illicit drug use within the past year.
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Pennsylvania Drug Addiction
Heroin, cocaine HCl, crack cocaine, and marijuana remained the most available, popular, used, and trafficked illegal drugs in Pennsylvania. However, clandestinely manufactured drugs, such as methamphetamine, crystal methamphetamine, and club drugs, such as MDMA/ecstasy, also remained readily available to users of various ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. OxyContin availability was reported to be decreasing, yet it remained popular in some areas, especially in northeastern Pennsylvania. The diversion of methamphetamine precursor chemicals such as ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and anhydrous ammonia, as well as the discovery of clandestine laboratories, remained a problem in western Pennsylvania, while significant investigations of internet pharmacies continued.
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Pennsylvania Drug Information
Although the availability of methamphetamine in Pennsylvania is relatively low compared to the midwestern and western United States, investigations and reports from state and local law enforcement confirm the eastward movement of methamphetamine production into Pennsylvania. In particular, rural areas, such as the northwestern counties and Pocono Mountain have been infiltrated with small, yet dangerous, methamphetamine laboratories, as numerous seizures have documented by law enforcement in the last few years. The rural parts of Pennsylvania remained the most popular sites for clandestine laboratories due to the reduced risk of detection caused by the pungent odor of a laboratory as well as the likelihood of a lesser law enforcement presence. However, investigations continued to reveal that small-scale laboratories exist anywhere from residences to motel rooms in cities and towns throughout Pennsylvania. These laboratories account for the vast majority of methamphetamine laboratories seized in Pennsylvania and the majority of methamphetamine available in western Pennsylvania. However, the production output of these laboratories represent only a small percentage of the methamphetamine consumed in all of Pennsylvania.
Current investigations indicate that diversion of hydrocodone products such as Vicodin®, oxycodone products such as OxyContin®, fentanyl (such as Actiq®), and pseudoephedrine continues to be a problem in Pennsylvania. Primary methods of diversion being reported are illegal sale and distribution by health care professionals and workers, "doctor shopping" (going to a number of doctors to obtain prescriptions for a controlled pharmaceutical), forged prescriptions, and the Internet. Benzodiazepines such as diazepam and alprazolam (both the generic formulation and brand name Xanax®) were also identified as being among the most commonly abused and diverted pharmaceuticals in Pennsylvania. The prescription drug problem has been a major contributing factor to heroin addiction in the state and the need for more effective drug rehabs in Pennsylvania.
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