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Our mission is to reduce the use of tobacco and eliminate the use of illegal drugs and the abuse, misuse of and addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

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FAQ's & Information

What are the signs and symptoms of drug use and abuse?

Physical changes can include: change in pupils; clenching teeth; nosebleeds/runny nose (not caused by allergies or cold); sores, spots around mouth; unexplained physical health problems; wetting lips or excessive thirst (known as cotton mouth); sudden or dramatic weight loss or gain; accidents/injuries/skin abrasions; sweatiness; slurred speech; gaunt and pasty skin; or being unusually tired.

Behavioral changes can include: mood changes; change in relationship (family and friends); changes in behavior and personality; loss of interest in school and activities; concerns voiced by others; police contact; truancy; frequently breaks curfew; going out every night; asking for money (cash flow problems); aggression; irritability; change in sleeping patterns - up all night, sleeping during the day; or change in hygiene habits.

Click here for a printable version of this and more information regarding signs and symptoms of drug use and abuse.

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What is drug addiction?

Drug addiction is the most severe form of a substance use disorder (SUD). An SUD develops when a person’s continued use of alcohol and/or drugs causes significant issues, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home. An SUD can range from mild to severe.

Addiction is a complex, chronic brain disease characterized by drug craving, seeking, and use that persists even in the face of devastating life consequences. Addiction results largely from brain changes that stem from prolonged drug use – changes that involve multiple brain circuits, including those responsible for governing self-control and other behaviors. Drug addiction is treatable, often with medications (for some addictions) combined with behavioral therapies. However, relapse is common and can happen even after long periods of abstinence, underscoring the need for long-term support and care. Relapse does not signify treatment failure, but rather should prompt treatment re-engagement or modification.

(National Institute on Drug Abuse)

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How quickly can someone become addicted to a drug?

There is no easy answer to this common question. If and how quickly you become addicted to a drug depends on many factors, including your biology (your genes, for example), age, gender, environment and interactions among these factors. Vast differences affect a person’s sensitivity to various drugs and likelihood of addiction vulnerability. While one person may use a drug one or many times and suffer no ill effects, another person may overdose with the first use or become addicted after a few uses. There is no way of knowing in advance how quickly you will become addicted, but there are some clues – an important one being whether you have a family history of addiction.

(National Institute on Drug Abuse)

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Can addiction be treated?

Individuals who struggle with addiction can learn to manage their behaviors, control their urges and achieve long-term sobriety. Depending upon the nature and severity of a person’s addiction, treatment may include a variety of therapeutic interventions, and may occur on the inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient or traditional outpatient levels. Addiction treatment is typically a multi-phase experience that begins with ridding an individual’s body of the drug(s) upon which he or she has been dependent, and continues through increasingly less-intensive levels as the person develops the skills and strategies that will support lifelong recovery.

(Addiction Recovery Choice)

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How do I know if a friend or family member has a problem?

If you suspect there may be a problem with a friend or family member, don't wait to see if things get better, or until things get worse. The sooner you act, the easier it will be to address the problem. Call BCDAC, Inc. at 215-444-2700.

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How can I help someone if they are on drugs?

Helping a loved one dealing with drug abuse isn’t easy, and there’s no magic formula that will get your loved one to stop using. Here are some suggestions on how to help a loved one get treatment for their drug addiction:

Educate yourself about addiction. You see what you know. Until you have knowledge about addiction and the symptoms of drug abuse, it’s easy to miss the signs that are right in front of you. Addiction is complex, and it’s okay if you don’t know everything right away. But taking the time to understand your loved one’s disease and how it affects them is incredibly beneficial to both you and your loved one. It also helps you be more aware of the signs that your loved one needs help.

Offer your support. Individuals with a substance use disorder don’t always understand how much their family and friends love them. Talk to your loved one about your concerns, and don’t wait for them to hit rock bottom to speak up. Let them know that you’re going to support them on their journey to recovery.

Encourage them to get help. As with other diseases, the earlier addiction is treated, the better. But don’t be surprised if you’re met with denial or excuses as to why they can’t or won’t seek treatment. Be persistent about how important it is that they enter treatment for their addiction, but avoid them feel guilty or ashamed in the process. Another option is to hold an intervention for your loved one. Although these are often difficult to do, an intervention may be exactly what your loved one needs if they’re deep into their addiction. Consider bringing in an intervention specialist to help you navigate this process.

Support recovery as an ongoing process. Once your loved one decides to enter treatment, it’s essential that you remain involved. Continue supporting their participation in ongoing care, meetings, and recovery support groups. Be the support system that they need, and show them that you’ll be there every step of the way.

Take care of yourself. Although you may see this as selfish, it’s incredibly important that you’re able to be there for others and make the best decisions possible. Make sure your own needs are met by getting enough sleep, exercising and eating well. Don’t be afraid to go to therapy to get help if you find yourself struggling due to your loved one’s drug use.

(The Recovery Village)

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How does someone pay for treatment?

There are a few ways to pay for treatment:

Private Insurance - call the number on the back of your insurance card listed under Mental Health/Substance Abuse/Behavioral Health.

Medical Assistance - call Magellan Health Services at 877-769-9784 and they will direct you to the nearest treatment agency for an assessment.

If your insurance denies treatment - ask about Act 106 of 1989. Under most group insurance plans in Pennsylvania, you are entitled to certain alcohol and other drug treatment benefits. Act 106 requires most group health insurance policies drafted in the state of Pennsylvania - including HMOs and the Children's Health Insurance Program - to include mandated minimum benefits for treatment of alcohol and drug addiction. All treatment services must be provided in a program licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health specifically to provide alcohol and other drug treatment.

If you do not have insurance coverage - there may be County-funded treatment available. An assessment must take place with one of BCDAC, Inc.'s contracted providers.

If you have any questions, please call BCDAC, Inc. Approval of Care at 215-444-2730 and ask to speak to an AOC Care Manager.

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What can I do if I suspect a doctor is overprescribing medication or suspect drug dealing in the community?

If you suspect a doctor is overprescribing medication or suspect drug dealing in the community, call the drug tip hotline at 215-345-3784. You can also text the word BUCKSDRUGTIPS and your tip to TIP411 (847411), or email If your information leads to the arrest and conviction of a drug dealer, that tip will lead to an award up to $5,000.

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