Recovery United providing recovery services in the Hilltop
Long before Carrick and neighboring Hilltop neighborhoods were identified in a 2016 report by the Allegheny County Health Department as a hot spot for opiate overdose deaths, Recovery United Pittsburgh (RUD) was working in the community.
Founded in 2008, RUD is the largest provider of recovery housing in the region with three men's houses and one women's in Carrick and an additional women's residence in Brookline. They also operate an outpatient facility in the Hill District.
Recently, State Rep. Harry Readshaw and representatives from State Sen. Jay Costa's and Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak's offices toured several of the residential houses.
Residents participating in the program come from all walks of life, but most from hospitals, rehabs, detoxes, jails and sometimes the street. Up to three residents share a room. They all have a personal space where they may lock valuables and prescription medications.
The houses themselves are equipped with kitchen facilities, living room, coin-operated washer and dryer, and most with cable television in the bedrooms. Residents are provided with linens, a dresser and closet space.
Drugs and alcohol are not permitted in the houses. If a resident experiences a relapse while in the program, they work to get that person into a higher level of treatment immediately, such as in a hospital or rehabilitation center.
Residents are required to attend weekly house meetings and AA and/or NA meeting and pass drug and alcohol tests on arrival and throughout their stay.
Residents are also required to gain employment, participate in educational opportunities, perform chores and become productive and contributing members of society.
"We have had many successes over the past several years, numerous people have achieved multiple years of recovery, and believe that we are doing a great deal to help curb the devastating opiate overdose death epidemic that is prevalent in our neighborhoods. Particularly in the South Hills where our recovery houses are located," said Gray Montague, director of development and marketing for RUP.
In 2015, REP expanded its capacity and services by opening an Outpatient Treatment Services rogram in the Hill District that is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services to offer outpatient treatment to up to 70 clients from RUP and other people throughout the community.
Early this month, they launched a Medication Assisted Treatment program that is also licensed by the state and prescribe the Buprenorphine/nalozone products known as Suboxone and Zubsolv.