Drug & Alcohol Addiction Rehab, Treatment & Recovery Resources in Alaska
In Alaska, 7,469 individuals – 15.88% of the state population – died as a result of drugs and alcohol between 2008 and 2017, a figure over three percentage points higher than the national average of 12.71%. Among the top three cities in Alaska based on population, Fairbanks had the lowest rate of drug- and alcohol-related deaths during that time period at 14.28%, while Juneau had the highest rate at 18.64%. Anchorage fell squarely in the middle at 16.32%.
This guide was created to help the many residents of Alaska who are struggling with substance abuse addiction to find affordable treatment that will put them on the path to recovery. It is also intended to inform the general public about the dangers of substance abuse in Alaska.
If you need help finding a rehabilitation center in Alaska, you can use our directory to find low-cost, quality treatment right away. Read on to find instructions for using the directory and to learn which rehabs qualify as the highest-rated, low-cost facilities in the state.
Table of Contents
I. Getting Help
Drug & Alcohol Addiction Rehab, Treatment & Recovery Resources in Alaska
If the cost of rehab is a barrier for you – as it is for many – and you don’t have insurance, there are still ways for you to receive help. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), there are 85 substance abuse treatment centers in the state of Alaska. Of those 85 rehabs, The Salvation Army Clitheroe Center in Anchorage received the highest overall score based on our five core metrics.
Located in Anchorage, The Salvation Army Clitheroe Center provides men’s and women’s residential inpatient services, as well as outpatient rehabilitation services for adults, including medication-assisted treatment, the acceptance of patients on opioid medication, and the employment of medications for psychiatric disorders. It ranked near the top in three out of five categories, which earned it the highest overall score of 6.2 points out of 10 possible points in our rankings.
The category of Treatment Approaches had the highest score due to the variation of behavior therapies offered, including cognitive, dialectical, and rational emotive, among other approaches. Unique populations for whom special programs are available range from military members to patients who have experienced trauma to individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. Clitheroe Center scored only four points in the Cost category since it doesn’t accept Medicare or ITU funds. However, it does accept self-payment and TRICARE.
Rainforest Recovery Center, on the campus of Bartlett Regional Hospital, is located in Juneau, and it received an overall score of 5.9 points out of 10 points. The facility offers outpatient rehabilitation services and residential services to adults. Rainforest Recovery Center received the highest possible score in the category of Ancillary Services due to the wealth of these complementary services available to patients, such as health education services, continuing care, housing services, tobacco cessation counseling, social skills development, and many more.
The center also received a perfect score in the Rehabilitation Services Provided category for the broad range of rehabilitation services offered, including detoxification, the use of medications for psychiatric disorders, and the fact that it accepts clients on opioid medication. The category of Special Programs for Unique Demographics received a low score as the center is limited to treating adults and patients with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. Rainforest Recovery Center also scored low in the Cost category since it does not accept Medicare or TRIAGE. The center does, however, accept Medicaid, private health insurance and self-payment.
Located in Wasilla, Nugen’s Ranch provides residential programs for adult women and men, earning it an overall score of 5.5 points out of 10 possible points in our rankings. The center scored low in the category of Rehabilitation Services Provided as it offers general substance abuse services but does not provide medication-assisted treatment for patients addicted to opioids. Treatment approaches at Nugen’s Ranch are plentiful and include cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step facilitation, motivational interviewing and incentives, relapse prevention, and many more.
Additionally, the wealth of ancillary services elicited a high score in that category and range from housing and transportation assistance to employment counseling and training to treatment for gambling disorders, to name just a few. The center also ranked high in the category of Cost as it accepts Access to Recovery (ATR) vouchers, TRICARE, private health insurance, federal funding for substance abuse programs, and self-payment. However, it does exclude Medicare and Medicaid from its payment options.
Rehabilitation Services Provided: 2.5
Treatment Approaches: 8
Special Programs for Unique Demographics: 2
Ancillary Services: 9.5
Highest-Rated, Low-Cost Treatment Centers in Alaska
1840 Bragaw Street, Suite 110 Anchorage, AK 99508 Main Tel: 907-562-4155
Finding a Substance Abuse Treatment Center in Alaska
Start by contacting your referral center
In Alaska, the first step is to contact the Division of Behavioral Health via the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. The DBH works statewide to provide a continuum of behavioral health services, including substance use treatment and recovery. To find a treatment provider near you, go to the DBH page on the Alaska DHSS website, and navigate to “Find a Treatment Provider.”
The purpose of a referral center is to determine what type of help each individual needs as well as the resources available for each individual. The referral center is also the first point of contact for anyone who may need assistance paying for treatment. To learn if you qualify for low-income Medicaid services, and to determine eligibility, visit the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
Use our database to find a treatment center near you
The tool below lists all of the treatment centers in the state of Alaska recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Input your zip code and select the filter icon to find relevant treatment centers near you.
Many different methods are available for treating addiction, and the science of studying addiction is constantly improving and changing. However, the core pieces of rehabilitation are generally very similar.
Substance use disorder and PTSD go hand-in-hand for many veterans
Veterans face unique challenges that can place them at higher risk for a substance use disorder (SUD) than the general population. The primary factor leading to this increased risk is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while other situations, such as unemployment, homelessness and chronic pain, can also be contributing factors. Furthermore, individuals – including veterans – with a substance use disorder are more likely to develop PTSD, so the problem is cyclical in nature.
1 in 3
veterans seeking treatment for a SUD also has PTSD
1 in 4
veterans with PTSD also has a SUD
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for PTSD, as of early 2019, nearly one of every three veterans who seeks treatment for a substance use disorder also has a PTSD diagnosis. Similarly, over one in four veterans who have received a diagnosis of PTSD is also struggling with a substance use disorder. Furthermore, for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, one in 10 of those individuals who visits a VA health care facility has a substance use disorder.
However, there is hope for veterans suffering from a substance use disorder, as they have access to additional resources for treatment for a SUD or co-occurring SUD and PTSD, and VA benefits often cover the cost of this treatment. To find help with substance abuse treatment from the VA healthcare system, follow these steps:
Enroll: If you aren’t already enrolled, you can check if you are eligible for VA health benefits and then complete the application. You can also research the Department of Veterans Affairs Alcohol and Drug Dependence Rehabilitation Program. This program is available in VA medical centers and outpatient clinics around the United States and provides a variety of treatment options, such as rehabilitation, detoxification, and psychiatric services, for veterans addicted to drugs and alcohol. Keep in mind that you must already be enrolled in the VA healthcare system to be considered for the program.
Discover: Find out whether your local VA medical center provides substance use disorder (SUD) treatment by calling or visiting the center. If you don’t know where the closest VA medical center is located, call the VA hotline at 800-827-1000 to find out or click here for a comprehensive search of VA locations around the United States.
Find Treatment: Veterans in Alaska can reach out to their local VA medical center to search for information on substance abuse treatment, including the possibility of a VA-based substance use disorder (SUD) program, in their state. Additionally, they can locate information regarding substance abuse treatment services at the Alaska Department of Military and Veteran Affairs website (navigate to “Quick Links” and then click on “Alaska VA Healthcare System”) or at the Alaska Coalition for Veterans and Military Families website. Click on “Directory” on this website to locate even more organizations that can be of assistance.
Treatment is available for veterans in Alaska who are suffering from a substance use disorder. As of 2017, 12 substance abuse treatment facilities in Alaska – representing 13.5% of all treatment facilities – catered specifically to veterans.
Adolescents in Alaska use marijuana at a much higher rate than the national average
of adolescents aged 12-17 used marijuana, 2014-2017
of adolescents aged 12-17 drank alcohol, 2014-2017
Between 2014 and 2017, 10.6% of adolescents aged 12-17 in Alaska reported engaging in marijuana use in the past month, much higher than the national average of 6.8%. In terms of alcohol use, 10.7% of adolescents aged 12-17 in Alaska had taken part in the behavior in the past month, similar to the national average of 10.1%. Additionally, 3.5% of individuals admitted to a substance abuse treatment program in Alaska in 2017 were aged 12-17. To overcome the challenges that youth face in overcoming substance addiction, some treatment centers provide adolescent-specific treatment programs.
Additional Resources for Parents and Teachers
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) works through the Adolescent Health Program to offer numerous substance abuse resources for parents and teachers. ‘Alaska’s Strategies to Prevent Underage Drinking’ is a detailed guide that offers an overview of underage alcohol use in Alaska, as well as multiple ways to both prevent and combat it. Furthermore, the ‘Get the Facts About Marijuana’ fact sheet outlines the risks of adolescent marijuana use, as well as prevention strategies and a list of resources to contact for assistance.
Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment
Substance abuse and mental health issues tend to go hand-in-hand – the technical term is “co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.” The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that, in 2017, 45.6% of adults with a substance use disorder also had a mental health disorder, and 18.3% of adults with a mental health disorder also had a substance use disorder. For adolescents in 2017, 35.9% of those with a substance use disorder also had a major depressive episode, while 10.7% of adolescents with a major depressive episode also had a substance use disorder.
Mental Health Resources & Treatment
If you or someone you love is suffering from mental health issues, such as depression, PTSD, eating disorders, or severe anxiety, there are many resources from which to receive help.
Below are a few ways to receive immediate assistance, as advised by MentalHealth.gov:
Emergency Services: If your life (or someone else’s life) is in danger, always start by dialing 911 to gain immediate access to emergency services.
Suicide Prevention: The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is: 800-273-8255. You can also initiate a private live online chat.
Veterans Crisis Line: Dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 and press “1” to talk to someone immediately. You can also access help with a private online chat or text 838255.
Here are two ways to find a provider of mental health treatment in Alaska:
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services: The DHSS website has a section dedicated to helping the public with mental health concerns.
Alaska National Alliance on Mental Illness: The NAMI website provides resources for each state. Navigate to the page dedicated to Alaska. This page offers a multitude of resources for individuals dealing with mental illness, with a link to various crisis resources, including the Veterans Crisis Line.
Individuals who have both substance use and mental health disorders may benefit from dual-diagnosis rehab facilities. Use the appropriate filter in our tool above to find rehabilitation centers with treatment programs designed to meet the unique challenge posed by co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.
Substance abuse aftercare treatment is often overlooked, but it’s one of the most crucial steps in the rehabilitation process. The chances of relapsing after rehab dramatically rise for individuals who try to resume their lives without pursuing further treatment in an aftercare setting. Several different types of aftercare are available for recovering addicts, including follow-up visits for continued therapy, group therapy, and sober living homes. Research shows that long-term participation in aftercare activities dramatically improves the outcome of rehabilitation efforts.
12-Step Addiction Meetings in Alaska
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) designed the 12-step process for individuals recovering from alcohol addiction, and today there are many other 12-step programs for other addictions and issues – Narcotics Anonymous (NA) being just one example.
Contact the appropriate local organization to find an AA or NA meeting near you
The tool below lists the contact information for local organizations that will connect you to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings near you. Since meeting times and locations change periodically, contact the local groups that coordinate the meetings to ensure that the information is up to date.
Sober living homes (also referred to as recovery residences) are group homes that help recovering addicts transition from treatment facilities to living independently while maintaining their sobriety. These homes can be especially beneficial for individuals who don’t have a supportive and positive environment in which to live after leaving a rehabilitation facility.
Residents of sober living homes can stay from a few months to several years, as long as they follow house rules and avoid relapse, as these homes typically have a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy. Additionally, residents are expected to complete chores, attend mutual support groups, and pay an equal share of the cost of renting the home.
Some sober living homes are listed in our database, and you can find them by using the appropriate filter in our tool above. You can also check out our guide on sober living homes to learn more about them and to find a certified recovery residence near you.
The following table illustrates the annual estimates of substance abuse among residents of Alaska between 2016 and 2017, in addition to the percentage of the Alaska population and the U.S. population that those estimates represent.
Annual Estimates for Substance Abuse in Alaska, 2016-2017
* ‘Alcohol’ refers to an Alcohol Use Disorder. The numbers reflected in the table above are not the number of individuals who use alcohol, but rather those who have an AUD, defined as meeting the criteria for alcohol dependence.
* ‘Prescription opioid’ refers to a Pain Reliever Use Disorder. The numbers reflected in the table above are not the number of individuals who use or even occasionally misuse a prescription opioid, but rather those who have a PRUD, defined as meeting the criteria for illicit drug dependence.
of Alaska deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of U.S. deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
The following table shows the number of deaths involving drugs and alcohol in Alaska between 2008 and 2017. The corresponding graph illustrates the percentage of deaths due to drugs and alcohol in Alaska compared to the national average.
Drug and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Alaska, 2008-2017
When trying to understand substance abuse issues in a specific area, researchers and policymakers examine “key indicators.” Combined with usage statistics, key indicators can provide a deep level of insight into which substances present the most serious concerns and which demographics can be most impacted by substance abuse. Key indicators of substance abuse issues within the state of Alaska, along with recent, credible statistics, are examined below.
Nearly 15% of Alaskans suffer from mental illness every year
As discussed earlier in this guide, there is a strong link between substance use disorders and mental health disorders. When an individual is afflicted with both of these issues at the same time, health professionals refer to it as co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders or a “dual diagnosis.” Consequently, the prevalence of mental health issues in a given state can also help us to understand the level of substance abuse.
of Alaska adults had a serious mental illness
of Alaska adolescents had a major depressive episode
Between 2013 and 2017, 4.7% of Alaska adults were afflicted with a serious mental illness, compared to 4.2% nationally. Among Alaska adolescents, 12.1% of individuals aged 12-17 suffered a major depressive episode in the past year, equal to the national average of 12.1%.
The table below sheds some light on the prevalence of mental health issues in Alaska.
Mental Health Issues in Alaska by Age and Percentage of Population, 2016-2017
Suicide rates in Alaska are much higher than the national average
The Centers for Disease Control reports that suicide is the leading cause of death in the United States: The suicide rate has risen in nearly every state from 1999 to 2016, with that rate increasing by more than 30% in half of all 50 states since 1999. Suicide is an act that is often linked to substance abuse. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, substance abuse is a primary risk factor for both adults and adolescents who attempt and/or complete suicide, and this is particularly true for at-risk populations.
Furthermore, the relationship between substance abuse and suicide is multi-faceted and complex. Persons who have substance abuse issues typically also carry other risk factors for suicide, including depression, impulsive behavior, and other struggles with relationships, finances, illness, or unemployment that make them more likely to engage in self-harm. Between 1999 and 2016, Alaska witnessed a 37.4% increase in the number of suicides. In 2017, Alaska ranked 2nd in the country for the number of suicides per 100,000 residents.
Suicides and Suicide Rates in Alaska and the United States, 2017
Alaska has a lower opioid prescribing rate than the overall U.S. rate
Prescription drug abuse – particularly opioids – has become an epidemic in the United States. While it is difficult to estimate how many individuals use these drugs as prescribed and how many abuse them, the Centers for Disease Control has researched the variation in opioid prescriptions between states, establishing a direct connection between an increased level of opioid prescriptions with a greater potential for dependence and abuse. Across the United States in 2017, 191 million prescriptions for opioids were written by physicians, ultimately leading one in four patients who begins long-term opioid therapy to an addiction.
opioid prescriptions per 100 Alaska residents, 2017
opioid prescriptions per 100 U.S. residents, 2017
After peaking in 2012, the U.S. opioid prescribing rate has been on a steady decline for the last several years due to the explosion of the opioid epidemic and the recognition of the role that excessive opioid prescriptions have played in this epidemic. Between 2013 and 2017, the opioid prescribing rate in the United States dropped from 78.1 prescriptions per 100 residents to 58.7 prescriptions per 100 residents, a decrease of 24.84%. The opioid prescribing rate in Alaska was consistently lower than the U.S. prescribing rate during that time period, from 63.7 prescriptions per 100 residents in 2013 to 52.0 prescriptions per 100 residents in 2017, revealing a still substantial, but smaller, decrease of 18.37%.
Alaska and U.S. Opioid Prescribing Rates, 2013-2017
The rate of homelessness in Alaska is much higher than the national average
A high rate of homelessness in an area indicates a greater potential for substance abuse issues. Homelessness has been shown to be linked to substance abuse as both the cause and result; some individuals become homeless due to a substance use disorder, while other individuals who are already homeless frequently turn to substance use to dull the pain and desperation of their situation.
The 2018 Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Point-in-Time Count reported approximately 552,830 homeless individuals in the United States, the equivalent of 17 of every 10,000 U.S. residents. This number represents a decrease of 4.1% since 2014, when the number of homeless persons in the U.S. was around 576,450. Furthermore, homelessness across the United States has decreased by 15% since 2007, the year that HUD began collecting data on the homeless population.
of every 10,000 Alaska residents were homeless, 2018
of every 10,000 U.S. residents were homeless, 2018
By comparison, Alaska had approximately 2,016 homeless persons in 2018, equating to 27 of every 10,000 Alaska residents and significantly higher than the national average. This number reveals a 13% increase since 2014, when 1,784 homeless persons lived in Alaska.
V. Regional Substance Abuse Statistics & Rehabs
The following sections provide a deeper look at the substance abuse problem in Alaska by examining the drug- and alcohol-related death rates in the three most populous cities. Additionally, the highest-rated rehabilitation centers in each city are listed.
The three highest-rated rehabilitation centers in Anchorage are listed in the table below, along with each institution’s performance on our core metrics.
Drug- and alcohol-induced deaths are slightly higher in Anchorage than across Alaska
of Anchorage deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of Alaska deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
Between 2008 and 2017, there were 2,985 deaths induced by drugs and/or alcohol in Anchorage Borough, in which Anchorage is located. This number represented 16.32% of the total number of deaths among all ages during the same time period in the borough and was just slightly higher than the state average of 15.88%. Of the top three Alaska cities, Anchorage’s death rate fell squarely in the middle of the group.
Drug and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Anchorage Borough, 2008-2017
Fairbanks’ rate of drug- and alcohol-induced deaths is slightly lower than the state average
of Fairbanks deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of Alaska deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
Fairbanks is located in Fairbanks North Star Borough, which had a drug- and alcohol-induced death rate of 14.28% between 2008 and 2017. This percentage was over one percentage point lower than the state average of 15.88% during the same time period. Among the top three cities in Alaska, Fairbanks had the lowest death rate.
Drug and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Fairbanks North Star Borough, 2008-2017
The rate of drug- and alcohol-induced deaths in Juneau is higher than in Alaska
of Juneau deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of Alaska deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
Juneau Borough, in which Juneau is located, experienced 393 deaths due to drugs and alcohol between 2008 and 2017, representing 18.64% of the total number of deaths in the borough during that time period and coming in at nearly three percentage points higher than the average of 15.88% across all of Alaska. Compared to the other top three cities in the state, Juneau had the highest percentage of drug- and alcohol-induced deaths.
Drug and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Juneau Borough, 2008-2017
Substance abuse treatment is available in Alaska for anyone who needs help beating an addiction – you don’t have to struggle alone. To receive assistance, start by determining your insurance coverage and by contacting your referral center. You can also use our tool earlier in this guide to locate a treatment center near you. Remember, many low-cost rehabilitation centers can help if you don’t have insurance coverage or feel like you are unable to afford treatment.