Lack of Substance Abuse Treatment in Juneau Prompts Committee Formation

Addiction Action Committee’s formation, professionals from the Alaska’s Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention held a community meeting. Topics discussed included syringe exchange programs, alternatives to incarceration for drug offences, and additional sober living communities in Juneau.

Gov. Bill Walker announced in the meeting that he learned from other governors that some states are using Alaska’s approaches to dealing with the opioid crisis as a model to develop similar programs.

Last year, Walker declared the opioid crisis in Alaska a disaster and signed the Health Bill 159 into law. The bill aimed to boost opioid monitoring services and drug awareness programs. It has increased protocols for medical doctors and pharmacists and limited initial dosages of prescription opioids for first-time users to a week.

Pata has facilitated discussions with other tribal communities to develop prevention strategies, education resources, and expand addiction recovery resources. She noted the youth population has been receptive in communicating with their elders.

The community has shown support for the Addiction Action Committee, Pata said, adding that “everybody who has been appointed is really committed.”