Recover Alaska Advocates for Resources for Alaskans
The Department of Health and Social Services has identified alcohol overuse as a top health issue for Alaskans that directly, and indirectly, affects individuals, their loved ones, and the community. Fortunately for Alaskans, an organization exists that is dedicated to addressing the harm caused by excessive alcohol consumption in Alaska, and combating the problem: Recover Alaska. Through projects like Be [You] and Day 001, two media campaigns highlighting positive social norms about underage drinking and recovery, Recover Alaska is addressing the problems associated with alcohol straight-on. The organization has an increased presence in the community, which improves access to information and creates a place for Alaskans to share their stories of recovery.
As an organization focused on whole-person wellness, Southcentral Foundation is proud to partner with and support Recover Alaska’s efforts to reduce excessive alcohol use and harm. Recover Alaska works with community partners, such as SCF, to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with alcohol misuse.
In 2016, Recover Alaska began a partnership with United Way’s Alaska 2-1-1 program — a one-stop resource for connecting to a variety of important community resources like emergency food and shelter, health care, drug and alcohol programs, and more — called the Resource Center Project. Its purpose is to increase the community’s knowledge and access to resources around alcohol misuse, provide helpful initial contact through the call center, and connect callers to referrals and service providers who can help. In the first year, the program provided resources to 3,428 online visitors and fielded 925 phone calls. Data collected from the program’s online self-screening tool revealed that nearly 65 percent of those who used the tool indicated behaviors consistent with harmful use or dependence, 82 percent of whom had contemplated suicide some or most of the time.
The second year of the Resource Center Project is focused on continued resource distribution and data collection to help those in crisis, and support the case for more statewide resources, like detoxification and residential treatment providers, which are currently in short supply. Recover Alaska continues to work on legislative advocacy plans to acquire more funding for additional resources that will help combat this issue around the state.