Alaska’s State Health Assessment identified substance misuse as a topic of highest concern. Substance misuse data was tracked in the HA2020 plan with the LHI’s 14, 15a, and 15b that included measures on alcohol mortality rates, and adult and adolescent binge drinking. For all Alaskans, there was no progress on the alcohol induced mortality rate indicator, but both binge drinking indicators met their targets. The HA2030 team decided that the new State Health Improvement Plan will focus on both alcohol and drug-induced mortality rates to address multi-substance use, which aligns with Healthy People’s goal. There is considerable funding and community interest in drug and alcohol misuse prevention program action at this time, which may aid progress in this area. Efforts related to the binge drinking LHIs from HA2020 have been incorporated into the strategies and actions to lower alcohol mortality rates for HA2030.
The HA2030 team also decided to add a new objective to reduce the percentage of adults needing, but not receiving, substance use disorder treatment as a way to create strategies and actions focused on barriers to accessing treatment and support. This objective’s strategies will also support the progress on alcohol- and drug-induced mortality rates.
For successful health promotion strategies, models focused on policy, systems, and environmental change is a way of modifying the environment to make resources available to the at-risk and vulnerable population, and help facilitate healthy choices.
The limited data available to this topic shows that among the prison SUD population, up to 40% have HCV compared to a prevalence of about 1% in the non-institutionalized adult population in Alaska. The CDC has linked the increase in HCV infections to the worsening opioid crisis. There is evidence that attempts to reduce the supply and demand for drugs is associated with a reduction in HCV.
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