Since 1970, Alpha House, Inc. has served Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the surrounding communities with residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment. Its two residential home-like facilities, situated on a calm, suburban, tree-lined street, serve as the epicenter for a personal responsibility-oriented program of long-term recovery from drugs and alcohol.
Accommodations and Food
Both of Alpha House’s residential locations are open to men and women but the genders are separated by floor. In order to provide all clients with the attention they need, Alpha House aims to keep enrollment low. Though it is equipped to serve up to 30 clients total, there are typically no more than 15 to 20 residents at a time. Bedrooms are designed for double occupancy and come furnished with two twin beds and basic storage. There are shared bathrooms in the hallway. In keeping with the work-oriented routine at Alpha House, clients take care of all of the food preparation and cooking for the meals, which are served in the house. There are also snacks provided throughout the day. Since Alpha House is a non-profit institution, food is provided by donations.
Clients have periods of free time built into each day, though it should be noted that there is not a plethora of recreation activities available. As clients move up in the level system, they can take walks around the neighborhood and use the on-site gym, which is an exercise room with standard equipment. They can also watch TV in the living rooms of the homes. Occasionally, Alpha House will sponsor off-site trips, such as to a Pirates baseball game.
Treatment and Staff
Alpha House abides by a CBT method of treatment, with an emphasis on behavior modification. Clients grow and improve as they move through the ranks of the facility’s three-level program, each of which provides increasing liberties. During the Level One phase, clients are subjected to random urine testing, as many are in treatment as a part of a court-mandated program. Twelve-step meetings are available on-site and there are semi-weekly trips made to meetings held in the community.
Clients are assigned daily house-related jobs such as cleaning, vacuuming and preparing meals. These jobs rotate but the routine of daily chores is a solid component of Alpha House recovery. In addition, clients attend group and individual therapy throughout the week. Some groups are peer run while others are administered by the program’s Master’s-level certified counselors. Each client receives one half hour individual session per week with their assigned counselor. There is no medical doctor or nurses on staff at Alpha House but if there are medical issues to address, the program makes referrals to nearby hospitals. Similarly, there is no detox available on-site but anyone in need will be referred to a local facility before beginning treatment at Alpha House. An on-staff psychiatrist visits once a week to consult and handle medication management. Family members are invited to join clients for a visit and group therapy twice a month.
Alpha House offers outpatient treatment, which operates out of the same location as the residential program. This program includes group and individual therapy as well as an introduction to CBT and 12-step concepts. Clients also have access to GED services, housing and legal referrals, as well as aftercare.
With a long history of service in a calming residential setting, Alpha House provides long-term treatment through CBT and the 12 steps. Their work-oriented schedule provides structure and focus for those in a court-mandated program and those looking for a solid foundation for successful sober living.
Alpha House, Inc.
435 Shady Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Alpha House, Inc. Cost: Medicaid or private insurance (30 days). Reach Alpha House, Inc. by phone at (412) 363-4220 or by email. Find Alpha House, Inc on
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