Anchorage Drug Treatment Facility Tackles Meth Abuse


Alaskan drug treatment centers in Anchorage have been working toward helping people recover from methamphetamine and opioid addiction. Meth has plagued Alaska since the early 2000’s, and while Meth labs have disappeared slowly throughout over time, the drug has remained an issue. Suppliers have simply adapted while demand did not go down.

The Narcotic Drug Treatment Center (NDCT), established in 1974, is one of the facilities featuring drug treatment programs to support people battling to overcome meth addiction in Anchorage. It is a not-for-profit organization with goals of helping people overcome their dependencies on drugs. Their aim is to enforce a treatment philosophy that focuses on a patient’s eagerness to obtain help for their substance use disorder.

Clinical director at NDCT Ron Greene said that there is as much methamphetamine use in the clinic as there is opioid use. In addition, he claims to have predicted the current heroin crisis in 2003, while also recognizing that people began choosing heroin and meth over prescription pills in the years that followed. He estimates that 60 to 70 percent of the people going through opioid addiction treatment in Anchorage could also have meth in their body.

Greene noted that his team detected a variety drugs being used by patients, which was akin to what other states in the country were experiencing.

Due to meth being more powerful than similar substances, public health issues associated with the drug use are increasing in Alaska. In 2016, there were 65 overdoses directly related to meth. 53 resulted in death. This is in comparison to 34 meth-related overdoses and 26 deaths  in 2015, according to a report by Alaska’s Division of Public Health. The report also stressed that the majority of intakes due to meth at the emergency department were for people between the ages of 25 and 29. This represents 27 percent of meth-related overdoses in Anchorage. It was reported that 25 percent of meth-related overdoses involved alcohol, as well.

Meth is being produced in houses, apartments and vehicles instead of a traditional lab. Consequentially, it is cheaper than ever. Federal legislation has made it more difficult to create meth in the U.S. in 2016, so suppliers responded by moving it out of the country.

According to a conclusion by the Department of Justice and Department of Enforcement (DEA), a notable amount of the meth distributed in the U.S. comes from drug cartels in Mexico. The report indicated that the highest availability of meth was in the Northwest of the U.S., with an availability rate of 79 percent, and the DEA claims that the U.S. is filled with potent and cheap meth.

Lieutenant at the Anchorage Police Department Jack Carson emphasized that local meth distributions are less frequent because it is more cost effective to buy the product from Mexico than to search for the ingredients to make it in Alaska. He stated that meth is arriving in significant quantities across the border through the mailing system and being dispersed from that point on.

The cost of meth and heroin on the streets of Anchorage is more than in cities in continental America. The price increases when the drugs are transported to smaller towns and cities.

Law enforcement agencies also stressed that meth quantities have increased over the years. It is not unusual to see large packages of meth trafficked into Alaska.

According to the 2017 National Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Facilities, there are more than 25 facilities with drug addiction programs in Anchorage. All of those drug treatment programs are working to fight the drug epidemic in the city and the state and help people overcome their addictions to meth and other illicit substances.

Help Extended Across the Region from Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Mesa

Mesa Drug

A new drug and alcohol treatment center has recently acquired their license to open the facility in Mesa, Arizona’s Maricopa County, Footprints to Recovery. They are affiliated with medical professionals, law enforcement and members of the community to deliver better substance abuse treatment for the people of Arizona.

Originally founded in Chicago in 2013, Footprints to Recovery has since opened locations in three other states. The Mesa location will become their fourth drug and alcohol treatment center and will be open 24 hours a day.

The facility is located in Mesa, 20 miles east of Phoenix. It is approximately 12,000 square feet with over two dozen beds in private and semi-private rooms, round-the-clock medical care, transportation at any time of day, one-on-one counseling with a licensed therapist, an attentive medical staff and a focus on behavioral health and mental stability. Every treatment plan is individually designed based on a patient’s needs. It offers medical detox and alternative forms of treatment ranging from yoga, acupuncture and chiropractic services.

Footprints has already started accepting patients last week but will have its official grand opening on June 13.

The chief marketing officer at Footprints to Recovery, Elliot Wolbrom, explained the process of selecting a location for a new center and which markets to target.

“Our world-class clinicians study our clientele and seek out markets and locations where their advanced expertise would most benefit (and speak to) those in need,” he said. “Additionally, we look at national, state and local substance abuse and overdose data in an effort to bring our clinical expertise to a particular area where our care can be most impactful.”

Wolbrom discussed some of the issues plaguing Arizona.

Between June 15, 2017 and January 11, 2018 there were 3,114 reported drug related overdoses in Maricopa County, according to a report from the Arizona Governor’s Office. The report also enlisted a plan to prevent drug overdoses in the future.

The Arizona Department of Health was directed to pinpoint ways that they could stop prescription opioid abuse with proper prescribing practices, create rules to teach healthcare providers how to prescribe responsibly, extend treatment access and reverse overdoses through the use of naloxone.

The Arizona Department of Health has an ‘all hands-on-deck’ approach to confronting the opioid epidemic affecting Arizona.

“A report by the Arizona Department of Health Services found that there was a three-time increase in heroin-related deaths since 2012 and a whopping 74 percent increase in opioid-related death since 2012. There’s a problem in Arizona and we want to be part of the solution” he said.

Wolbrom emphasized that detox is one of their primary focuses and to provide a safe, clean, medically advanced and therapeutic environment for their clients to become well enough to achieve long-term recovery. He also highlighted the goals for this drug and alcohol treatment center. “Our goals remain the same regardless of level of care and regardless of location,” Wolbrom said. “Our objective, under the powerful leadership of our CEO, Hirsch Chinn, is simple: positively impact the crippling substance abuse statistics in the country, especially for those that are 18-35, by creating a movement where we place world-class clinical care and an outstanding client experience from start to finish.”

“We’ve been operational for just one week and have been privileged to provide completed detox treatment to nearly a dozen clients with more currently being treated and new clients being admitted,” he said.

Wolbrom has stated that the location will be the largest and most updated drug and alcohol treatment in Mesa and that there are plans for further expansion down the line.

“Footprints to Recovery continues its national expansion and we will soon be opening new treatment centers with multiple levels of care in Colorado, Massachusetts and elsewhere,” he concluded.

Glenwood Springs Addiction Treatment Center Servicing Mothers


Glenwood Springs, CO. has a recently opened addiction treatment center, Momenta, which offers mental health and substance use disorder services to both outpatients and inpatients.

Momenta was founded by Mandy Owensby, a mother of two who had struggled with her own recovery for nearly six years. During her time working in human services she noticed that there was a lack of local treatment resources for patients, who instead had to be referred to programs out of state. After her own difficulties finding programs that would accept her with her children Owensby wanted to create a program that specifically serviced both women and mothers.

There’s been a rise in substance abuse and suicides in mountain communities, Owensby said. Many mothers with substance use disorders fear losing custody of their children, many of them may not seek help until their substance abuse becomes severe, she added.

Momenta staff utilize a holistic approach to recovery, not only focusing on mother-child relationships, but on the entire family. Based on a 12-step model, the treatment center offers family therapy, fitness, nutrition and other courses for patients. In her work with outpatient treatment centers, Allison has worked with patients with addictions who have also experienced trauma in their lives. Depending on the severity of the trauma, they may be at risk of developing substance use disorders when they’re older. She added that if all people understand the connection between drug addiction and trauma, then it can be easier for them to see substance use not as a choice but a medical condition.

Owensby believes that the longer patients receive treatment services, the more likely they will be able to sustain a long-term recovery plan. A longer treatment program may also reduce ‘triggers’ in a patient lives that may lead to a drug relapse, therefore she requires patients to commit to a minimum of 90 days of treatment.

Momenta’s opening has generated much interest from those seeking addiction treatment. Owensby believes that they may soon have to place people on a wait list.

Minot Sober Living Home Offers Support to Women in Recovery

A sober living home called the Sanctuary opened at the beginning of the month in the city of Minot, North Dakota, to support women who live in the area and who are recovering from substance use disorders.

The facility focuses on promoting non-chemical coping skills, volunteer efforts, profitable employment, education, and action and bases its program on the 12-step model to recovery which involves structured environments, workshops, as well as spiritual teachings.

There is a total of 11 trained individuals who are involved with managing the sober living home, which can accommodate a total of 14 women for provisional periods in a four-bedroom house. The representatives of the center stated that, in addition to a double room, the large size of the bedrooms allow them to be shared by up to six women.

The staff members explained that they believe that the fact that the women have to share the premises prevents them from becoming isolated.

The Sanctuary features numerous other congregational rooms for the assisting women who have gone through detoxification for a drug or an alcohol addiction but haven’t returned to their homes or routines yet.

The first residents have moved to the center and the staff members are currently in the process of reviewing other applications that have been submitted by potential residents.

Applications from anyone who meets their requirements and is truly committed to achieving recovery will be accepted.

The women are required to go to 14 meetings every week across recovery programs — some of them that are held at the house and some are not, such as the meetings with peer support groups like Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous.

The residents of the Sanctuary also have to participate in random and unscheduled drug tests, and due to the zero-tolerance drug use policy, anyone whose tests results come out positive gets evicted.