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

Opioid legal action may result in patients who need additional medical help 

On Wednesday, the Alaska U.S. Attorney announced that an Eagle River nurse practitioner and a Soldotna doctor face federal charges for allegedly distributing millions of doses of opioids to patients who didn't medically need them. As a medical community, we need to be prepared to help patients who may be experiencing some withdrawal symptoms as a result of an interruption in opioid pain medication, which can lead to increased risk-taking and the possibility of overdoses or other medical emergencies. Please get in touch with me, anne.zink@alaska.gov, if you have any concerns or information to share. 

Also, please be aware of the resources available to providers on the Opioids in Alaska website, including continuing education courses on opioids, alternative pain management, naloxone information and more. 

Here are some free, confidential resources for these patients that we shared last night on DHSS Facebook (@alaska.dhss): 

  • Always call 911 if it’s a life-threatening emergency.
  • SAMHSA has a national helpline to help with finding treatment, 800-662-HELP (4357), TTY: 800-487-4889
  • Help is available 24/7 through Alaska's crisis hotline, Careline. Call 1-877-266-4357 (HELP).
  • United Way 2-1-1 can help connect people to supportive services

To learn how to prevent an opioid overdose, visit the DHSS Project Hope website

More helpful resources to help those misusing substances:

Please enable images for a better experience.