New reports suggest opportunities to increase utilization of medication-assisted treatment for opiate addiction in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Allegheny HealthChoices, Inc. (AHCI)¹ recently published two reports about the utilization of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) among people with opioid-related disorders who sought substance use disorder (SUD) treatment in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania during 2012 and 2013. Purpose for the […]

Spiral Staircase. Credit: Roman Pfeiffer

Expanding the definition of recovery during National Recovery Month Given that September is SAMHSA’s National Recovery Month, I would like to speak about a recent realization: the reason this month is so important is because we have forgotten that recovery from addiction issues was and is the norm! For too long, our culture and language […]

Narcotic Farm, Lexington, Kentucky, 1936.
ULPA 1994.18.0748 Herald-Post Collection, 1936-10-21, Photographic Archives, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky.

Opened in 1935, the pastoral prison, rehab, and research center had a major impact on evidence-based practices today The history of professional addiction treatment in the United States is fairly short and very complicated. As Nancy Campbell, J. P. Olsen, and Luke Walden write in their book, The Narcotic Farm: the Rise and Fall of America’s First […]


Health professionals, public servants, and regular folks can now access accurate data on fatal overdose in Allegheny and other Pennsylvania counties With funding from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy’s Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) has launched a statewide website called OverdoseFreePA.  It offers educational toolkits tailored […]


Overdose in Allegheny County: 2014 updates Overdose deaths in Allegheny County may have peaked in 2012, said County Medical Examiner Karl Williams, M.D. at the Allegheny County Overdose Prevention Coalition (ACOPC) conference in Pittsburgh last month.  Allegheny County lost 278 citizens to drug overdose in 2013, as compared to 288 in 2012. However, 2014 began […]

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Navigating conflicting preferences, our own and those of others We sometimes behave as if we had two selves, one who wants healthy lungs and another who enjoys smoking; one who desires to improve himself by studying hard and another would rather watch TV or socialize. These two selves are in continual contest for control: indulgence […]

empower yourself

SMART Recovery bolsters those who often feel powerless, says local outreach counselor I work at a homeless drop-in center in Pittsburgh’s Uptown neighborhood. I spend my days interacting with people who embody our society’s suffering and trying to think of new ways to help them through this suffering. Acute mental illness, severe addiction issues and debilitating physical ailments […]


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