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Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention

Ask any Alaskan if they know someone who has struggled with addiction and, more likely than not, you'll hear a story about how a fellow Alaskan was hurt by a substance use disorder. Alaska is no stranger to the challenge addiction presents.

Addiction has profound costs for Alaskan families and communities, including economic costs. The McDowell Group report The Economic Cost of Alcohol and Drug abuse in Alaska estimates Alaska’s the economic cost of alcohol and drug abuse. In this report, the cost of alcohol and drug abuse are estimated at approximately 3.1 billion dollars, which equates to roughly $4,000.00 dollars per individual Alaskan per year. The criminal justice and protective services cost to Alaska for issues created by drug and alcohol abuse has been documented at 269.8 million dollars a year. Addressing the secondary effects of addiction, such as crime, broken families and disconnected communities, can start with prevention.

The Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention supports community efforts to address substance misuse and addictions involving prescription drugs, illicit drugs, marijuana, and alcohol (including fetal alcohol spectrum disorders). The approaches often start at a community level and are rooted in collaborations with a multitude of partners. Programs are built with both evidence and innovation in mind, and foster community, communication and collaboration.

Collage of images from community meetings during the development of the Alaska Opioid Action Plan

Mission

Implement public health approaches to prevent and reduce substance use disorders and support community-based activities across Alaska.

Core values

  • Community:
    Engage with individual citizens and community-based coalitions
  • Communication:
    Use evidence-informed methods to improve public, provider and media knowledge of substance misuse and addiction
  • Collaboration:
    Work with State of Alaska agencies and external partners to lead a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral prevention response

More information

For more information on the Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention, contact osmap@alaska.gov.