DHSS News Promoting the health and well-being of Alaskans. June 2019

Behavioral Health Updates

  • The State of Alaska Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) recently provided sponsorship for 18 Alaska providers to attend the Region X Opioid Summit last month in Vancouver, Washington. Workshops were offered on four tracks: prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery. Health professionals in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska shared information on their approaches, successes, and challenges in responding to the opioid crisis. Presentations included the Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention (OSMAP) on prevention strategies, the State Opioid Treatment Authority on opioid treatment programs, and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) on collaboration and strategic planning to reduce and prevent opioid use and substance use disorders. Community coalitions that are helping implement a variety of strategies across Alaska were also well represented. The summit was planned by the Opioid Response Learning Collaborative (ORLC), started by SAMHSA two years ago and comprised of state and Tribal officials in response to the significant amount of federal funding distributed to states to address the opioid crisis. The agenda, which includes titles of presentations and speaker, can be found here.

  • September is National Recovery Month, when community organizations across the State hold a variety of events and activities to celebrate recovery from Substance Misuse. September 20 is National Addiction Professionals Day recognizing the hard work of professionals in the field of addiction medicine and prevention that helps save lives and heal families. DHSS and DBH encourage health care providers across Alaska to support and participate in recovery month activities that may be taking place in your community.

  • Our understanding of substance misuse is quickly evolving as we learn more about the science behind addiction, including how the brain works. As our knowledge evolves, so do the approaches to treat addiction. DBH is a sponsor of the Annual Alaska Training Institute which is offering training on this topic next month. The National Association for Addiction Professionals and the Alaska Addiction Professionals Association are hosting the Fourth Annual Alaska Training Institute: Trauma, Resilience & Advanced Skills for Substance Use Disorders on October 21-22, 2019 at the Anchorage Marriott Downtown. Registration is now open.


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