Hometown Alaska: Staying active in recovery as winter approaches

(Mcahsens, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

September has been recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as National Recovery Month since 1989. In Alaska, where alcohol consumption has become both a positive and negative pastime, it is often seen as a challenge to approach sobriety or sober-curious living when this state has the second-highest rate of alcoholism in the United States. However, many people here still find sobriety not just worth fighting for, but celebrating beyond September.

Tiffany Hall is the executive director of Recover Alaska, an organization dedicated to providing resources and guidance for those interested in stepping into sobriety. Dr. Vivian Gonzales professor of psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage, having obtained her Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2004 and has intensively studied addiction and recovery throughout her education and career. The two of them join Hometown Alaska to discuss the realities of Alaskan sobriety, and what it looks like to face recovery in the harsher months of the cold, dark winter.

HOST: Justin Williams

Tiffany Hall, executive director of Recover Alaska
Dr. Vivian Gonzales, professor of psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage

Recover Alaska
Rethinking Drinking: Website created by National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Provides information on drinking to help people assess their drinking and tools to change drinking habits.
Checkup and Choices: Offers check-ups (assessment with feedback) for alcohol, opioids, cannabis, and stimulant use. You can choose to begin an intervention based on the results to help you reduce use and consequences. Not free, but much lower cost than traditional treatment, self-guided, and has evidence to support it’s effectiveness in helping people reduce their substance use and consequences.
Smart Recovery: Free mutual support groups that are an alternative to AA or NA. Provides general mutual support meetings as well as meetings specifically for vets and first responders, LGBTQ+, friends and family, and people under 30.

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