Many people associate the state of Alaska with exotic snow-covered northern scenery, wild bears, glaciers, mountains and and the occasional moose. However, for thousands of people, Alaska is home. Unfortunately, like people in any other region of the U.S, from the city to the country, people living in Alaska are not immune to drug and alcohol abuse. Though the state itself has man isolated areas and is far north of the continental U.S., people addicted to drugs or alcohol need not feel isolated from help. In the city of Anchorage, for instance, there are several treatment options available for those who are looking to recover their lives from the power of addiction or for those who fear a loved one need substance abuse treatment.
Akeela Treatment Services (2804 Bering St., 907-562-4409 or 4502 or 907-561- 5366) offers residential substance abuse treatment in its 30-bed facility. Treatment here is “intensive” and offered to people with “chronic chemical dependency.” Programs are long-term, a year to a eighteen-months. Treatment elements include group therapy, individual therapy, and “recreational” therapy. Along with the long-term program, Akeel also provides transitional housing for recently-recovered addicts who have complete ninety days of treatment.
The Salvation Army Citheroe Center in Anchorage ( 1709 S. Bragwaw St., Suite B, 907-276-2896) offers substance abuse treatment programs. Along with outpatient services, there is a residential/inpatient service. Help offered include assessment, placement, and detox. The residential program can last from 28-180 days. Job training and referrals are sometimes available. This Salvation Army also handles dual-diagnosis case (mental illness/substance abuse) for men and women over eighteen years old.
Volunteers For America, a “national, nonprofit, spiritually based organization providing local human service programs”
runs a “fully accredited” substance abuse program in Anchorage for adolescents. (1675 C Street, Suite 255; 907-279-9634, www.voaak.org). Programs aim to “eliminate reliance on substances” for clients (ages 12-18). It emphasizes counseling, the 12-step program, family involvement and aftercare.
Residential treatment takes place through program called ARCH (Adolescent Residential Center for Help) based in Eagle River. Here, there is room for sixteen adolescents with addictions to live and receive treatment for 4-6 months. Components of the program include family and individual counseling, schooling, help with nutrition, and “adventure based counseling.”
Outpatient care is provided by Volunteers for America through a program called ASSIST. Elements of this program include a twelve week course of family and individual therapy several times each week. For adolescents needing more help VOA offers intensive outpatient treatment which also last twelve weeks and includes family and individual counseling of 10-12 hours per week.
Alaska Women’s Resource Center (11 W. 9th St, 907-276-0528) provides a variety of substance abuse treatment options. One is New Dawn, a residence for recovering addicts who have already “completed primary care” and are continuing in their recover. The facility offers counseling, parenting skills classes and job training. There is room for ten women and five children.
Drug and alcohol addictions are life-threatening and life-ruining. Not only addicts, but also the addict’s families and friends are adversely affected. Treatment options do exist for those who are looking to recover their lives and beat their substance abuse habit. Even in regions most of us consider far-off, like Anchorage, Alaska, problems exist- but so does help.