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Heroin and opioids in the Last Frontier 

Learn what marijuana means for Alaska and you 

It's your health - Teen Health 

Alaska's Tobacco Quitline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) 

2-1-1Alaska  

Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222 

Alaska's Careline 1-877-266-4357 

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Vitamin D bannerVitamin D is important for strong bones and may contribute to overall good health. Alaskans should select foods that are high in vitamin D, such as Alaska salmon, and should talk with their health care provider about vitamin D and the risks and benefits of supplementation.

Substance Use Treatment & Recovery

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Path to Recovery

Alaska has treatment options and recovery supports in many communities. 

Some providers have same-day openings.

Treatment Steps


Every step is available in Alaska. Not everyone needs every step.​ People may need to repeat steps.

Red Bullet 
People with severe addiction may need to medically stabilized or go through managed withdrawal ("detox") before beginning treatment.
Orange Bullet 
To start treatment & recovery, the first step is an assessment (intake) to find the best treatment fit.
Yellow Bullet 
Residential (inpatient) treatment offers a high level of support for starting recovery.
Light Green Bullet 
Transitional housing provides people in treatment or early recovery with a safe, supportive home.
Green Bullet 
Outpatient treatment lets people live at home and maintain their regular schedule during treatment. Some people may start with outpatient treatment after an assessment.
Dark Green Bullet 
Recovery supports like self-help groups, peer support, employment programs and safe housing are important for maintaining recovery.

Addiction is a chronic condition like diabetes, so recovery is a lifelong process.

Find a Treatment Provider

To start treatment & recovery, contact a treatment provider or ask your health care provider to schedule an assessment (intake) to find the best treatment fit.

Many providers take Medicaid.
The best treatment fit will depend on the substances being used and the person seeking treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is MAT (medication assisted treatment)?
Medication assisted treatment, or MAT, is a combination of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medication and recovery supports.

MAT can be residential or outpatient.
The main MAT medications are: 
  • Naltrexone (Vivitrol®) 
  • Methadone 
  • Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) 
MAT has proven to be highly effective for opioid dependence.

Naltrexone may also help some alcohol use disorders.

Recovery supports include group or individual therapy, safe and stable housing, employment programs, childcare and healthy social activities. Most successful therapy involves family and friends. 
Many people find peer support — support from people who have been in recovery for a long time — very helpful.

Substance use disorders affect people of all ages from all walks of life.
Each recovery journey will be as unique as the person making it.


Detox and treatment: What's the difference?
What we think of as “detox” is basically whatever is medically necessary to stabilize a person so they are well enough to begin treatment. This might be withdrawal management, when substances leave a user’s body, with painful and potentially dangerous side effects, or if a person uses opioids, stabilization might mean starting on a medication. 

This can be outpatient or inpatient, depending on a person’s level of need. 

Treatment of a substance use disorder includes all care and management that helps a person no longer use, use less of, or become no longer dependent on a substance. This can include education, individual and family counseling, therapy, medication and recovery supports.

Addiction is a chronic medical condition that doesn’t lend itself to one-time intervention. People who have been through treatment still have the neurobiological disease of addiction. Addiction can be under good management, though, the way other chronic health conditions such as diabetes can be successfully managed. Many people have flare-ups, but with more treatment, can go on to happy, healthy decades of sobriety. 

What is Addiction?
Addiction is a chronic medical condition that doesn’t lend itself to one-time intervention. People who have been through treatment still have the neurobiological disease of addiction. Addiction can be under good management, though, the way other chronic health conditions such as diabetes can be successfully managed. Like with diabetes, many people have flare-ups, but with more treatment, can go on to happy, healthy decades of sobriety.

​How can I pay for treatment?
Private insurance is now federally required to cover substance use disorder and mental health treatment. Also, many providers accept Medicaid. 

If you don't have insurance through your employer, the fastest way to apply for health care coverage, including Alaska Medicaid, is through healthcare.gov.

If you have coverage questions, call your insurance provider or the Alaska Division of Insurance, 269-7900

Will Medicaid pay for treatment out of state?
No, nor for transportation to out-of-state treatment.
Alaska Medicaid only pays for substance use disorder treatment in Alaska.

Is involuntary treatment available?
Not in Alaska. No treatment facilities here are designed hold people against their will.

Resources and information

Alaska 211 – Call 211 (or 800-478-2221) to reach the United Way of Alaska’s resource for connecting with a wide variety of vital resources in your community including emergency food and shelter, disability services, counseling, senior services, healthcare, child care, drug and alcohol programs, legal assistance, transportation needs, educational opportunities, and much more. 

Multiple languages are available. 

The line is open 8:30 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. The website is Alaska211.org and there is a 211 app; you can get it from here​ or Apple or Android online shops.
 
​Opioids, heroin 
Visit opioids.alaska.gov​ for information and resources, including on needle exchanges and needle disposal. 

Project Hope
Naloxone (Narcan®) is a drug that can reverse opioid overdoses. 
Visit the Project Hope page for a map of community partners statewide who distribute free Narcan kits. Call to check if they have kits in stock.

Medication disposal bags
Have unused or out-of-date medications? Contact your local state public health center​ for safe drug ​disposal bags to prevent poisoning or misuse by children or others. 

​Mental health 


Alaska Community Mental Health Centers provide emergency mental health services 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Your local community mental health center can provide the services you need or provide referrals to Alaska programs that can help.

***Some numbers are being updated. If a number doesn’t work, you can call Careline, 877-266-4357. ***

Alaska’s 24-hour suicide prevention and someone-to-talk-to line offers free, confidential crisis assistance, grief counseling, and help for people worried about themselves or loved ones. Call 1-877-266-4357 (HELP) anytime, or text 4help to 839863 3-11 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. 

They can also consult on possible warning signs and how to reach out to someone, or help arrange welfare checks.

This map shows psychiatric emergency treatment bed availability statewide. 

This search tool only shows availability of behavioral rehabilitative services for youth.

Other mental health and substance use disorder services exist, such as therapeutic foster care and the substance misuse treatment providers listed above.

​Alcohol ​
State public health report on alcohol in Alaska, May 2018

​Health effects of childhood trauma
Research has found that being exposed to trauma during childhood is often linked to a greater rate of mental and physical health challenges later in life. Helping children have as safe and stable an environment as possible is important for future health and life success.

For more information, visit Health effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs.)
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