Addiction and Treatment Statistics for Alaska

Compared to the rest of the U.S., Alaska has a higher-than-average rate of alcohol and illicit drug abuse. However, only about 10 percent of those suffering from substance use disorders are receiving the treatment they need. Fortunately, Alaska offers quality treatment for all individuals struggling to overcome addiction.

Alaska Substance Abuse Statistics

Recent reports and statistics suggest Alaska has a diverse and complicated problem with substance abuse. Consider some recent statistics in the state:

  • According to a 2016 Alaska State Troopers Annual Drug report, the most abused substances in Alaska include alcohol, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, prescription drugs, and marijuana.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 16.8 people per 100,000 in the state of Alaska died of drug overdoses in 2016. This rate has been climbing in recent years.
  • From 2009 to 2015, heroin-related overdose deaths quadrupled, according to the annual Alaska state trooper report.
  • In Alaska, almost 40,000 individuals over the age of 12 admitted to alcohol abuse or dependence in 2014, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
  • SAMHSA also reports that 19,000 people in Alaska over the age of 12 admitted to abusing illicit drugs.

Choosing The Right Rehab Program In Alaska

When an individual suffers from addiction, a rehab program can help them to move through the recovery process and regain control of their life. In the state of Alaska, clients can choose between outpatient treatment and inpatient treatment. While outpatient treatment allows clients to return to their homes after therapy, inpatient treatments are fully immersive experiences that require clients to live on-site.

A variety of different inpatient treatment programs are available in Alaska, but clients can choose the right program for them by considering the following characteristics:

  • Accreditation: Certain professional organizations evaluate rehab facilities and issue accreditation if the facility meets certain standards of quality, which include the Joint Commission and the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehab Facilities, or CARF. Rehab facilities in Alaska may also qualify for certification from the state itself.
  • Evidence-Based Approaches: A wide variety of different approaches to addiction treatment exist. However, some of these treatments have been shown to be more effective than others through scientific studies. These superior approaches are known as “evidence-based approaches.”
  • Length/Location: The length of inpatient treatment programs varies widely. Clients should always consider the average length of stay and the minimum/maximum length of stay for each rehab program. Also, many effective programs may require clients to travel or leave their home state.
  • Aftercare and Alumni Services: The purpose of alumni services and aftercare is to help clients transition back to normal living and maintain their sobriety after a treatment program is complete. In general, it is better to choose a program that offers these services.
  • Payment: The main payment options available to clients at rehab facilities are self-pay and insurance. Different insurances cover various aspects of treatment, so it’s important to investigate insurance plans in advance.

Alaska Drug And Alcohol Rehab Services

Rehab facilities in Alaska offer a variety of services to clients in addiction treatment programs, depending on their specific needs. Some of the most common services encountered include:

  • Drug and Alcohol Detox Programs: Detox programs help clients through the first phase of recovery, which involves managing withdrawal and eliminating all drugs from the system. In Alaska, these programs may or may not include medical care and supervision.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): For addictions to alcohol and opioids, certain medications are used to reduce drug cravings and lessen dependence. MAT is almost always combined with behavioral therapy.
  • Behavioral Therapy: The most common evidence-based practice for treating substance use disorders is behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy works to change the unhealthy behaviors that led to addiction and cause it to continue. Common behavioral therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).
  • Treatment For Co-Occurring Disorders (Dual Diagnosis): Substance use disorders often co-occur with other mental health conditions, like depression or anxiety. Dual diagnosis programs provide treatment for both disorders at the same time.

Finding Addiction Treatment

Clients searching for addiction treatment in Alaska should never be afraid to reach out for help. Addiction is a serious disorder, but effective treatment is available. To choose the right program, consider the options carefully. If needed, clients should be willing to travel for a high-quality program.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—Drug Overdose Death Data -

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration—Behavioral Health Barometer Alaska 2015 -

The Alaska State Troopers’ Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit—Alaska State Troopers Annual Drug Report -;.aspx

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