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Experiences of Opioid Use Initiation and Progression among Alaskans who Use HeroinThe opioid epidemic has continued in Alaska and nationwide. Information about the types of opioids that are misused first, the age of first use, and the circumstances and mode of initial and progressive use of opioids can help to inform effective prevention and early intervention efforts. These topics were explored during interviews with adults in Alaska who use heroin for the Partnerships for Success project. Results indicate that most participants were exposed to opioids through a legitimate prescription in their teens to early twenties for a severe injury or multiple surgeries before developing an addiction. Some obtained prescription opioids for misuse initially from social sources such as a friend, at a party, or stealing them from a neighbor. Only two participants began their use of opioids with heroin. All participants eventually went on to use heroin which became cheaper, more effective, and easier to obtain than prescription opioids. Few participants indicated that social influences, rather than price or availability, were a factor in their transition to heroin. Recommendations and an overview of recent state prevention initiatives and policy efforts related to the findings are presented.
2017-2018 Infographics for the evaluation of Project HOPEOpioid Response Programs (ORPs) across Alaska partner with DHHS, Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention (OSMAP) to distribute opioid overdose rescue kits to members of the general public and to professionals (e.g., first responders, agency/organization staff, etc.). This work consists of two infographics, and is supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant 1H79SP022117.
From Northern Village to Global VillageThe digital divide, which originally signifed the gap between those with Internet acces and those without, now applies to broadband. As other software and applications, such as health records, government documents, and educational materials are moving to the cloud rather than being installed on local devices, people in developing regions will need affordable broadband to access them.
Food System AssessmentFood assessments are conducted for different reasons such as creating a more sustainable commercial food production system or to target particular policies. The main focus of this effort was to locate indicators that could be updated regularly so current information would be readily available and so that changes or trends could be monitored. Without knowing the current state of food-related indicators it’s difficult to make informed decisions about which issues and goals are priorities. We start with an overview of the food system model we used. Chapter 2 is a demographic overview of Alaska’s residents. The next five chapters present the indicators for each of the components of the food system. Chapter 8 contains the data we think would be need to develop a better picture of Alaska’s food system. The final section of this report is an index of the indicators: the name of the indicator, where the indicator appears in this report, the years of data included, the source (the agency or organization thatproduced the data), the source title for the data, and the location of the data, usually a Web address.
FASD Costs: Evidence from Hawaii Medicaid DataFetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), a collection of permanent yet preventable developmental disabilities and birth defects resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure, are associated with substantial costs. We use information from Hawaii Medicaid data for individuals who have at least one FASD-related condition. The total spending for these individuals between 2011 and 2015 was $460,515,584. Of that total, more than $32 million is directly associated with FASD-related visits/codes. We find that the average FASD-related visit costs $121, which is more expensive than the average medicaid visit. We also find that the frequency of FASD-related visits increases with age. We find evidence that the number of initial conditions is positively associated with the number of visits and accumulated medical costs and that 20% of the patients are responsible for 85.85% of the total spending. This paper was supported by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative Agreement 5NU01DD001143.