Cocaine addiction in Alaska is a major problem, constituting one of the most common substance use disorders in the state. In 2016, the state’s largest cocaine supplier received a 16-year sentence after trafficking 250 kilograms of cocaine over a four-year period; however, one man’s incarceration is hardly enough to resolve the issue. Alaska addiction finds a way to feed itself, and Alaska cocaine use continues to negatively impact addicts and their families on a daily basis. At present, the most viable long-term solution to Alaska cocaine addiction remains the provision of treatment to those who need it.
Alaska Cocaine Addiction Statistics
While Alaska State Troopers note a slight decline in cocaine use from recent years, their 2016 annual drug report notes that the drug’s prevalence remains fairly steady. Powder forms of the drug can still be found in the majority of the state, with crack cocaine gaining prominence in major cities such as Anchorage. Intravenous use also appears to be on the rise, increasing the risk of major health consequences for frequent users.
Alaska addiction rates as reported by the 2015 behavioral health barometer do not account for specific substances, so it is difficult to state precisely how many of the 19,000 illicit drug users in 2014 were using cocaine as their primary substance of choice. The most telling statistic is that Alaska State Troopers seized 27.06 pounds of cocaine in 2016, almost twice as many pounds as they seized in heroin and methamphetamine combined.
Arrest rates for Alaska cocaine users were substantially lower than arrest rates for heroin or meth users, but the sheer amount of powder found by law enforcement would appear to indicate high rates of use. With production rates increasing in Colombia, law enforcement predicts that Alaska cocaine use will continue to rise as availability grows in the coming years.
Statewide Impact of Cocaine in Alaska
Cocaine addiction in Alaska primarily affects young adults. Those aged 18 to 25 use cocaine at a rate of 3.8%, compared to a rate of 1.5% for all Alaskans aged 12 or older. This means that most Alaska cocaine users are right at the age to be finishing college and starting careers. As those who suffer from substance use disorder are well aware, drugs have a tendency to interfere with these pursuits.
This would appear to be reflected by the 2017 economic cost assessment, which estimates drug-related productivity loss at $542 million—approximately 45% of all drug-related costs in Alaska. Notably, however, little of this actually results from lost wages and absenteeism. In fact, the greatest productivity losses typically stem from premature death, hospitalization and incarceration. Fittingly, the other primary categories of loss resulting from Alaska cocaine addiction are traffic collisions, criminal justice and protective services, and health care.
Overcoming Cocaine Alaska Addiction
Since cocaine use creates a sense of alertness, many are able to use it when working late or overcoming alcohol-related hangovers. This enables many Alaska cocaine users to remain outwardly functional, hiding their addiction from family members and coworkers. When the consequences finally begin to stack up, those who know the user in question are often stunned. Even if they knew of the user’s habits, they often denied that things would ever spiral out of control.
As Alaska addiction rates show, however, numerous Alaska cocaine users have eventually suffered for their disease. They and their families are left with little refuge other than to seek professional help from a credible drug addiction treatment facility, lest the impact of cocaine addiction in Alaska continue to expand its reach.
Treatment facilities can greatly tailor their approach to each client based upon the client’s substance of choice. Recovering cocaine users tend to vary between restless and lethargic, and those who used functionally prior to their downward spiral often struggle with denial. The best option for Alaska cocaine users of this nature is a facility that offers a full continuum of care—detox, residential, inpatient and aftercare. A wide variety of amenities, such as those offered at Oceanview Detox & Residential Treatment Center, further helps such users to seek healthy forms of recreation that complement their varying moods.
Alaska cocaine users and their families should heed the statistics discussed above, but do not despair over them. There is a way out. Contact us today, and put a stop to cocaine’s impact on your life.