Substance Use Disorders—Recovery Is Possible!

Substance use disorders touch nearly everyone. In Pennsylvania alone, the statistics are astounding. In fact, as of 2018, in a nationwide study comparing drug and drug-related problems, Pennsylvania ranked 10th in the nation, and in 2014, the state ranked 14th for drug-related deaths. Moreover, as of June 2019, Pennsylvania had the third-highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country. Our heroin and fentanyl-related overdoses are growing significantly year upon year, and although drug overdoses are happening all across the State, Cambria County has the 2nd highest drug overdose death rates in Pennsylvania.

Not included in those statistics is the pain and suffering caused by drug- and alcohol abuse-related issues, touching almost all of us, in every walk of life. To provide context to that more significant problem, there are one in four families impacted as of 2018 — one in four.

These drug and alcohol related tragedies no longer make headline news. Fatalities, both accidental and suicide, traffic-related injuries and deaths, hospitalizations, cases of sexual and physical abuse, and so much more, all stemming from substance use disorders have, sadly, become commonplace.

Additionally, there’s a strong correlation between increased incidence of anxiety and depression and the increase in substance use disorders. As people try to deal with depression and related syndromes and everyday life, they self-medicate. According to The National Bureau of Economic Research, “people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in life consume 69 percent of the nation’s alcohol and 84 percent of the nation’s cocaine.” This dual diagnosis or “co-occurring disorders”—mental health issues paired with substance use disorders—creates a perfect storm and an increased need for services to address substance abuse.

That’s where programs like Skills Outpatient Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment services can truly make a difference. Our staff is trained in co-occurring disorder treatment, trauma-informed care, and person-centered practices in addition to being compliant with all agency, county, and licensing required training programs. Our programs help individuals identify the various needs and obstacles they are facing in their lives across a wide variety of domains, including physical needs, intellectual needs, environmental needs, spiritual needs, social needs, emotional needs, recovery needs, financial needs, and occupational needs.

Our clinicians and the people we support collaborate to develop plans to address treatment and achieve goals. These plans may include counseling, medication management, and wellness support. Effective treatment programs may utilize individual counseling, group counseling, family involvement, and outside program participation, along with in-depth, collaborative follow-up support to prevent relapse.

According to, “the best addiction treatment services focus on keeping a person inspired, accountable, and committed to better health and sober living.” At Skills, all of our programs focus on a commitment to better health, hope for the future, and recovery. We know that it is going to take a collaborative, networked approach to treat and ultimately stop the deluge of increased substance use disorders in Pennsylvania. Skills offers one small, but effective, part of the treatment puzzle. Opening up our facilities to walk-ins and inviting individuals to engage in our programs through a “no-wrong-door approach” offers people suffering from substance use disorders a haven where the physical and mental issues that result can all be treated with expertise and care.

To learn more about our services to address substance use disorders, or to contact us for support, visit