Alaska Drug Rehabs

In the past few years, Alaska has seen a growing number of substance abuse cases involving non-medical uses of prescription medications. State officials are implementing new programs in an effort to track and shut down dangerous drug trafficking organizations.

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Alaska Addiction Treatment

Alaska’s most harmful abused substances,  cocaine and opioids, continue to climb to new records each year. Although the number of Alaskans who reported using illicit drugs over a 30-day period has decreased, other substances such as prescription medications, marijuana and alcohol rates are on an upward trend.

Alaska is listed as one of the ten worst states nationwide for illicit drug use rates.

The most commonly abused drugs in Alaska are alcohol, heroin, meth, prescription drugs, cocaine and marijuana. Many drugs found in Alaska are imported from outside the state by parcel shipment, passenger luggage and through ports of entry. With a large amount of illicit substances entering the state, drug-related criminal activity is becoming a serious concern. Cocaine and opioids have been linked to homicide, assault, prescription fraud, home invasion thefts, property thefts and pharmacy robberies across different boroughs in Alaska. Between 2000-2011, arrests for drug offenses spiked 34.3 percent.

After the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in 2014, Alaska is now labeled as a “marijuana exporting state.” Since Alaska produces one of the largest amounts of marijuana in the country, law enforcement officers are developing new initiatives to help raise awareness and keep citizens safe.

Laws of Alaska Drug Use

Alaska categorizes controlled substances into six schedules: IA, IIA, IIIA, IVA, VA and VIA. Theses classifications are determined by the severity of the effects of each substance and the possibility of addiction.

Schedule Substances Included
Schedule IA Drugs which pose the “highest degree of danger,” such as oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl, codeine, heroin, and other opioids.
Schedule IIA Drugs which pose “higher degrees of danger,” such as meth, amobarbital, synthetic cathinones (“bath salts“), and cocaine.
Schedules IIIA, IVA and VA Drugs which pose lower degrees of danger, including diazepam and other benzodiazepines, buprenorphine, anabolic steroids, and small doses of codeine.
Schedule VIA Drugs which pose the “lowest degree of danger.” This category only includes marijuana.

Additionally, there are five degrees of drug crimes in Alaska. A person who commits “misconduct involving a controlled substance in the first degree” is guilty of an unclassified felony. A first degree drug crime may involve trafficking Schedule IA, IIA, and IIIA substances, and the penalties may be as severe as a mandatory 99 year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine. Meanwhile, a fifth degree drug crime might involve using or possessing a Schedule VA controlled substance, a Class D misdemeanor which is punishable by a maximum $2,000 fine and no more than 10 days in prison.

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Alcohol Laws in Alaska

Alcohol regulations vary by borough in Alaska. While some boroughs allow the sale and possession of alcohol, others impose limitations. For example, a dry borough bans the possession and sale of alcohol altogether. Additionally, a damp borough restricts the amount of alcohol an individual can possess and prohibits alcohol from being sold or distributed.

In damp boroughs, people are allowed to purchase 10 ½ liters of hard liquor each month. This figure also includes a monthly limit of buying 32 bottles of wine and 12 gallons of beer. Roughly 11 percent of the total Alaska population and 52 percent of Native Americans in Alaska live in damp or dry boroughs. Some people try to smuggle alcohol into dry boroughs and sell them for a 100-200% markup. This practice is called bootlegging, which is a felony.

In Alaska, no one under the age of 21 may drink, possess, or purchase alcohol. Anyone who violates the law against underage drinking is subject to potential $600 fine, a three-month driver’s license revocation, and 48 hours of community service.

Finally, Alaska has strict laws against driving under the influence. A repeat DUI offender could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on how long ago their prior DUI convictions occurred. Here are the state’s penalties for DUI:

Conviction for DUI Mandatory Minimum Punishment
First conviction Three days in jail and a $1,500 fine; license revoked for three months
Second conviction 20 days in jail and a $3,000 fine; license revoked for one year
Third conviction (misdemeanor) 60 days in jail and a $4,000 fine; licensed revoked for three years
Third conviction (felony) 120 days in jail and a $10,000 fine; licensed revoked for a minimum of ten years, but possibly for life
Fourth conviction (misdemeanor) 120 days in jail and a $5,000 fine; license revoked for five years
Fourth conviction (felony) 240 days in jail and a $10,000 fine; licensed revoked for a minimum of ten years, but possibly for life
Fifth conviction (misdemeanor) 240 days in jail and a $6,000 fine; license revoked for five years
Fifth conviction (felony) 360 days in jail and a $10,000 fine; licensed revoked for life
Sixth conviction (misdemeanor) 360 days in jail and a $7,000 fine; license revoked for five years
Sixth conviction (felony) 360 days in jail and a $10,000 fine; license revoked for life
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Marijuana Laws in Alaska

Medical marijuana is legal in Alaska for treating cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDs, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and seizures. However, it is illegal to possess more than one ounce of medical marijuana or use it in a public place.

Recreational marijuana became legal in Alaska in 2014. However, there are still laws which limit the use and sale of marijuana, such as:

  • Only Alaskans who are 21 years of age or older can grow or use marijuana.
  • No one may possess more than one ounce of marijuana.
  • No one in Alaska may smoke marijuana in public.
  • It is illegal to operate vehicles such as cars, snow machines, boats and ATVs while under the influence of marijuana.
  • Alaskans can only possess, grow and give away as many as six cannabis plants. Only three plants can be mature and flowering at any given time.
  • No marijuana or cannabis-based product may legally cross Alaska state limits.

A person who possesses illegal quantities of marijuana or who uses the drug in a public place risks criminal penalties.

Marijuana Offense Criminal Charge Potential Sentence
Possession of more than 1 oz. and less than 4 oz. Misdemeanor 1 year in jail and $10,000 fine
Possession of 4 oz. or more Felony 5 years in jail and $50,000 fine
Possession of any amount within 500 feet of a school or recreation center Felony 5 years in jail and $50,000 fine
Public consumption Violation No jail time, but $100 fine
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Addiction Treatment Laws in Alaska

Each year, the Federal Government awards grants to different states in an effort to reduce drug abuse. Alaska distributes this money through various local and state programs including:

  • Safe and drug-free schools
  • Community programs
  • Drug abuse research programs
  • Block grants for prevention and treatment of substance abuse
  • Substance abuse and mental health services – access to recovery
  • Residential substance abuse treatment for state prisoners

Although Alaska enacted legislation to establish a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), it is currently not fully operational. Once the program is active, it will keep track of medications prescribed by doctors and dispensed by pharmacies. This will reduce non-medical uses of prescription drugs, as well as alert medical professionals about potential drug abuse.

Anchorage Wellness Court

Anchorage offers two options for those with offenses like misdemeanors, felony DUIs and felony drug charges – jail time or the Anchorage Wellness Court. Some benefits to the Anchorage Wellness Court include:

  • Substance abuse assessment and treatment
  • Reduced or no jail time (or fines)
  • Possible financial assistance to secure housing
  • Assistance in securing employment or job training
  • Opportunity for long-term recovery

Each program lasts approximately 12-18 months. Participants are given a list of requirements that they must adhere to in order to successfully complete the program. These requirements include:

  • Participate in intensive substance abuse treatment
  • Attend recovery support groups
  • Appear frequently for compliance hearings
  • Work or attend school for a minimum of 16 hours per week
  • Undergo alcohol and drug testing
  • Maintain sobriety
  • Attend Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)
  • Follow through with mental health service recommendations

The Anchorage Wellness Court strives to give individuals the tools they need for lasting sobriety and avoid future criminal activity.

Treatment Centers in Alaska

Alaska provides many options for addiction treatment such as community-based resources, self-help groups and public assistance. Boroughs and neighborhoods with behavioral health centers often offer reduced rates for substance use and mental health treatments, as well as counseling services. Local support groups and faith-based treatment centers also have relationships with organizations that may provide financial assistance to those in need.

Another option for addiction treatment is going to an out-of-state rehab facility. If you’re looking for a quality program, sometimes the best option may not be located in your home state. Not only do out-of-state treatment centers help you get away from triggers and unhealthy relationships, they also have up to a 12 percent higher completion rate than those in-state.

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Anchorage Wellness Court

Anchorage offers two options for those with offenses like misdemeanors, felony DUIs and felony drug charges – jail time or the Anchorage Wellness Court. Some benefits to the Anchorage Wellness Court include:

  • Substance abuse assessment and treatment
  • Reduced or no jail time (or fines)
  • Possible financial assistance to secure housing
  • Assistance in securing employment or job training
  • Opportunity for long-term recovery

Each program lasts approximately 12-18 months. Participants are given a list of requirements that they must adhere to in order to successfully complete the program. These requirements include:

  • Participate in intensive substance abuse treatment
  • Attend recovery support groups
  • Appear frequently for compliance hearings
  • Work or attend school for a minimum of 16 hours per week
  • Undergo alcohol and drug testing
  • Maintain sobriety
  • Attend Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)
  • Follow through with mental health service recommendations

The Anchorage Wellness Court strives to give individuals the tools they need for lasting sobriety and avoid future criminal activity.

Treatment Centers in Alaska

Alaska provides many options for addiction treatment such as community-based resources, self-help groups and public assistance. Boroughs and neighborhoods with behavioral health centers often offer reduced rates for substance use and mental health treatments, as well as counseling services. Local support groups and faith-based treatment centers also have relationships with organizations that may provide financial assistance to those in need.

Another option for addiction treatment is going to an out-of-state rehab facility. If you’re looking for a quality program, sometimes the best option may not be located in your home state. Not only do out-of-state treatment centers help you get away from triggers and unhealthy relationships, they also have up to a 12 percent higher completion rate than those in-state.

Please contact us today, and start living the life you deserve.

Cities in Alaska

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