It makes me wonder what the mindset is with the federal government, the state government, local governments, when in 2010, there was $1.2 billion dollars spent only in Alaska, from the ripple effects of alcohol.
Our great nation is in trillions of dollars in debt, our great state is cutting their budget and tapping into or decreasing the PFD dividends. And here we are spending money on a problem that could be prevented, only because there are a few people who enjoy the fruits of the Intoxicant that is not necessarily a need to survive this life.
The breakdown of the cost went to:
$673.2 million in productivity services
$50.5 million in traffic crash costs
$217.7 million in criminal justice and protective services
$237.3 million in health care
$13.2 million in public assistance and social services
An estimated 21,000 Alaskans age 12 and older are dependent on alcohol.
An estimated 16,951 Alaskan adults experience serious substance abuse disorder.
$35 million is spend to provide substance abuse treatment and prevention services.
There are more programs and services and money spend just to help with the effects of alcohol use, which we can say that the Alaska Alcohol Control Board with great wisdom agreed to approve the opening of sales in every location.
Something to consider, aside from many other reasons to pursue alcohol free villages: 21,000 users may be small, but it surely influences hundreds of thousands of other lives.
According to Alcohol Policy MD, 25% to 40% of all patients in U.S. general hospital beds are being treated for alcohol-related complications. Total cost for alcohol problems is $175.9 billion a year.
Underage drinking costs is $52.8 billion a year. Number one killer of teenagers is alcohol related car-crashes.
We can go with the cost spent to help the alcohol users and addicts.
I will close with this question, what is wrong with introducing and enforcing prohibition?
This is not final!
Andrew Boyscout, Chevak, Alaska
Talk to someone, remember – you are loved
I was thinking about how special people are, as we’re about to lay to rest one of the people who made such an impact on Our Community and Our Region.
Every single one of you matter – even if it doesn’t feel like it. You all are Special to many people in your life. If you need someone to talk to – do it. You can even talk to a stranger, who might even have an insight for you, or might not. That’s okay – as long as you talk to someone.
You all know how much it hurts to lose a loved one. Well, the person you might be hurting is a loved one.
Remember, you are supposed to treat people they way you want to be treated – with respect and love.
Give the person you think need a hug a hug, even if you don’t know them. Maybe say I love you or God loves you. You never know, you might be saving a life, someone who thought to end it all, then you gave them a hug or said I love you, and it changed their perspective.
I get up and I thank God every day for being able to see His wonderous beauty in the scenery and the people I get to interact with. Then again at night I give thanks to God for everything/one again.
Once you’re gone you’re gone forever, you and everyone else needs to remember that. You are of value and precious.
But, we all must pass away. It is a glorious thing. Because God made us Our own mansion in glory. I am grateful for that.
Remember – it is not a sin to talk to someone. That everyone has to talk to someone sometime. Everyone is supposed to talk out their worries and fears.
Happy holidays! May your next decade be a safe, productive one.
When you’re out gathering subsistence/medicinal things the Elders would love to have some. They probably miss doing that. God bless your day and year. As always…
Karen Nanouk, Unalakleet, AK
Focusing on the Fundamentals
I am not new to Alaska or to the Alaska State Troopers, having served more than 20 years in the ranks. However I write today as the new Director for the Alaska State Troopers (AST), I want to introduce myself to Alaskans and take time to tell you what I want to accomplish while serving as Colonel for this great agency.
Sports coaches often tell athletes of all ages that fancy plays aren’t what win games, its learning and mastering the fundamentals. I plan for AST to do just that: focus on our fundamentals.
What does that mean? It means continuing to prioritize recruitment and retention of high quality state troopers, filling our support staff vacancies, developing employee wellness initiatives, and placing focus on in-service and advanced training.
Under the Dunleavy Administration, the Department of Public Safety has received a lot of support designed to build this agency into the healthiest it’s been for quite some time. We need to keep this momentum up or risk losing valuable talent from both our civilian and our trooper ranks.
The goals of increasing the numbers of Troopers available to serve Alaska include decreasing the amount of time it takes for a Trooper to respond to a call for service, more active community engagement from our Troopers, and opening more Trooper posts in rural Alaska.
The Alaska State Troopers are, for all purposes, a rural police agency and my focus is on strengthening our agency to serve Alaskans all through this great state more effectively.
We have seen recent success in our efforts to be a competitive employer. Our ability to recruit and retain troopers has made positive strides recently by becoming more competitive with salary rates. We must continue to be competitive by investing in our staff in other ways, like expanding training opportunities and managing expectations.
Our troopers also need to be able to share their workload. When our troopers are spread thin and work too much, we risk burn out. We can’t afford to recruit and train troopers just to watch them hang up their Stetson because we over worked them. This is hard on dedicated people and it is hard on budgets.
Troopers need to be able to use their days off instead of getting recalled to support a short-staffed patrol shift. Just like anyone else, they have families, they get sick and they need to decompress after a long physically and mentally demanding shift.
To further support our troopers, we need to fill our vacant support staff positions. If a trooper is at a post completing tasks that an administrative assistant should accomplish, then that trooper is not out on patrol and not able to focus on what they were trained to accomplish. We need our support staff. We need Troopers. One does not exist without the other. Every position in our agency holds immense value in making the DPS work efficiently.
The Alaska DPS is an incredibly dedicated and professional group of people, but they need support. Investing in all of them will result in the best possible level of service to the citizens we serve with the resources we have. Thankfully, the budget proposed by Governor Dunleavy reflects his commitment to make Alaska safe by including funding for the DPS to fill all its vacancies.
I look forward to working with everyone as we focus on our fundamentals and drive towards getting our Division of Alaska State Troopers to be the most effective as possible in our service to all of Alaska. Strengthening the Alaska State Troopers strengthens Alaska.
Colonel Bryan W. Barlow has served his entire 20 plus year law enforcement career with the Alaska Department of Public Safety. He has worked in both the Division of Alaska State Troopers and the Division of Alaska Wildlife Troopers in a variety of roles and locations.