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Addiction treatment needs to be integrated with other aspects of patients’ lives, according to presenters at the Pittsburgh-based Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions. Those aspects include stable housing and employment, adequate social support and other chronic health issues.

Cocaine, Meth On Rise In Pennsylvania’s Early Warning Areas

Mar 5, 2019
U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP

Methamphetamine and cocaine use are on the rise in Pennsylvania while prescription drug and heroin deaths are leveling off in some areas, data that appears to reflect nationwide trends.

Jennifer Smith, secretary for Pennsylvania's Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, told a state Senate committee Monday that the state is seeing "quite an uptick" in cocaine and methamphetamine use in three early warning areas.

The Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Johnstown areas are usually the first to show new trends across Pennsylvania, Smith said.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Many overdose fatalities in Pennsylvania are opioid-related, but deaths from methamphetamine and other stimulants are back on the rise. For people who use meth, especially those who also identify as LGBT+, resources can be scarce.

There is a growing need for queer-centered resources in Pittsburgh, says Tommy Brassell, a medical assistant at Central Outreach Wellness Center, a clinic that specializes in LGBT health care. 

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Most overdose fatalities in Pennsylvania continue to be opioid related, but deaths associated with methamphetamine and other stimulants are also on the rise, according to a new analysis from the University of Minnesota State Health Access Data Center.