Alaska has seen a rise in the total number of drug related problems reported by its citizens. The state, in particular, is in a geographic location that makes it easy for people to access a wide range of substances of abuse.
Mexican DTOs or drug trafficking organizations often ensure that the residents of Alaska struggle with substance abuse and addiction. Although the state is quite remote, they still find a way to get drugs to those who are willing to abuse.
Currently, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, crack cocaine, and powder cocaine are the most common substances of abuse in the state. Although they are widely available, they are often sold at high prices here than in the rest of the United States. Traffickers often use package services or conceal the drugs in luggage, bodies, and other means to sell substances in the state.
Although getting illicit drugs into the state is often a problem, prescription drugs are widely available at drugstores and pharmacies across Alaska. This is why it is not exactly surprising that prescription medications are only second in line to marijuana in the list of the most commonly abused substances. Examples of the medications that are commonly abused include pain relief drugs that contain anabolic steroids, hydrocodone, and oxycodone.
Like within many other Native American communities, alcohol abuse is a common problem among Alaska Natives. In Alaska, this population has reported a rate of fetal alcohol syndrome that is 3.5 times higher than that of the rest of the total population of the state as well as 3.5 times higher than the rate reported at the national level.
In the same way, suicides among Alaska Natives take up 40 percent of the total number of suicides reported. This is unfortunate considering that this segment of the population only comprises about 16 percent of the total population. What is even more unfortunate is that alcohol was reported to be involved in 70 percent of the total number of suicides committed in the state.
Alcohol has also been reported to contribute to 85 percent of all the cases of domestic violence as well as 80 percent of the total cases of sexual assault among Alaska Native Communities. Further, alcohol was the 4 leading cause of fatality or death in the state from 1993 to 2002.
Although Alaska is an American state, it is remarkable that its statistics on addiction treatment and rehabilitation are largely unavailable. However, the state reported to SAMHSA - the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration - in 2003 that a total of 4,006 individuals were enrolled in an addiction recovery program. Most of these people were admitted into these problems because of abusing alcohol, prescription drugs, and/or illicit drugs. However, alcohol was the most common substance of abuse reported during admission.
Of the 4,006 who sought help for a substance use disorder that year, over 3,200 were admitted as a result of an alcohol use disorder - with or without another secondary substance of abuse. Another 363 were enrolled for treatment for abusing marijuana in Alaska.