Thursday, 29 October 2009

Substance Abuse

Sometimes, It's hard to explain how things are around the state. I've been asked to describe how living in the state is/works to someone who is considering taking a job, here, in treating addictions and abuse issues. She'd come to the conclusion that based on the number of job offers she recieved, Alaska has serious substance abuse and domestic violence issues. I won't say Alaska doesn't have those problems, and they're not serious, but the number of jobs metric is deceptive - part of the problem is we can't retain (or in many cases, get) doctors, PAs, therapists, etc. to move to the state. If you want a job in this economy, consider being a Nurse in Alaska. God knows we need it, and there's no shortage of positions available up here.

It's also hard to explain that the nature of substance abuse is different. Supposedly (and this is second hand information, so don't quote me on it) studies show that most teens in the states who abuse alcohol do so with cheep beer. Here, anecdotally, teens are more likely to use RR, Thunderbird, or bucket. Bucket is a solution fermented in a bucket. It tastes disgusting, but it'll get you drunk. We also have high levels of inhalant abuse. I don't know about in Fairbanks, but I'm guessing the good access to pot keeps huffing lower. This is pretty uncommon in the states, because this information really surprised some people.

So here's a post by a PA who lived in Bethel for a short period. They actually do a very good job discussion the problem with inhalant abuse in the vill, and its long term consequences.