What is the Drug Situation in Alaska?
According to the 2012-2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Alaska was ranked as one of the top ten states for illicit drug use in a number of categories.
Alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine and prescription drugs have been identified as the primary substances of abuse in Alaska. Despite progress in eradicating methamphetamine labs throughout the state, meth continues to be readily available throughout Alaska and now arrives mostly from sources outside of the area.
The apparent increase of the abuse of heroin and the continued abuse of other opiates (including various opioid based prescription medications) is of significant concern, primarily in the urban areas. Heroin use is not isolated to the urban areas of Alaska, and like much of the U.S., investigations have shown that Alaskans’ heroin use crosses socio-economic boundaries.
Cocaine is still popular, with crack or rock being prevalent in urban centers such as Fairbanks or Anchorage. Powdered cocaine is more commonly found in the villages.
Quick Facts on Substance Abuse Issues in Alaska
- Unintentional injury was the third leading cause of death in Alaska; Alaska’s unintentional injury death rate was 1.5 times the U.S. rate and, it was reported that nine of the 10 leading causes of death in Alaska can be associated with substance abuse as a potential contributing cause of death.
- In 2010, alcohol consumption (beer, spirits and wine) was consistently greater than the nation’s norm with spirits consumption nearly double the national average. Alaska’s ranking for binge drinking in 2010 moved from number 11 in the U.S. to number two.
- Marijuana became legal in Alaska as of February 2015. Alaska is considered a “marijuana exporting state” because of the high quality of marijuana produced there. Beginning in 2016, marijuana will be cultivated, tested and sold by licensed, taxpaying businesses that require proof of age. However, getting high in public is still illegal in the form of a strictly enforced $100 fine.
- Alaska has the 29th highest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States, with 11.6 per 100,000 people suffering drug overdose fatalities, according to a 2013 report, Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic.
- Nearly 25% of all hospitalized injury patients in Alaska have had suspected or proven alcohol use injury; of these hospitalizations, assault, falls, motor vehicle and suicide attempts were the leading injury causes for both males and females. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Alaska has the most alcohol poisoning deaths per million people.
- Drugs and alcohol are also a significant factor in domestic violence and sexual assault in Alaska. According to the 2010 Alaska Victimization Study conducted by the University of Alaska Anchorage, 37.1 percent of adult women in the state of Alaska become victims of sexual violence in their lives— 72.2 percent of those are drug or alcohol related sexual assaults. Additionally, alcohol was a factor in 59 percent of reported domestic violence cases.
How to get help for addiction in Alaska
We at recoveryas.com understand the difficulties in finding the right treatment program for someone suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. Give us a toll-free call at 1 (877) 968-6283 today. We will match you with a specialized drug rehab facility in Alaska, the Northwest region or wherever you want to be. Recoveryas.com can help you choose the treatment program that will get you or a loved one on the road to sobriety and good mental health.
If your insurance coverage is with one of the following companies, recoveryas.com will assist you in finding the help you need. We can work with any PPO coverage and also offer affordable self-pay and financing options for addiction treatment.