News & Updates

SEARHC Opens Dedicated Opioid Treatment Program in Juneau

JUNEAU, Alaska – In the past decade, the opioid epidemic has risen dramatically and has been identified as a public health crisis. SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) recognizes opioid use disorders, like other chronic illnesses, as a disease; and addiction treatment is considered a routine part of healthcare. SEARHC is committed to partnering with the communities we serve to promote a healthy balance of mind, body, and spirit.

On February 28, 2022, SEARHC opened the Front Street Clinic Opioid Treatment Program, a clinic dedicated to proven, evidence-based treatment for people struggling with opioid abuse and dependence, according to Charles Clement, SEARHC president and CEO. “SEARHC focuses on a wholistic approach to the well-being of each person we care for offering support, education, therapy, and medications designed to minimize the destructive effects of opioid addiction,” said Clement. “Each person we treat and get on the road to recovery, improves the overall health and well-being of our communities.”

The SEARHC Front Street Clinic Opioid Treatment Program serves to remove barriers and increase access to quality lifesaving treatment that will reduce the stigma associated with the disease of opioid addiction. “This service will benefit patients and the community in so many ways,” said Claudette Thor, Front Street Clinic Manager.  “We can reduce the risk of relapse, overdose, and death; improve retention in treatment; and reduce the risk and transmission of HIV and hepatitis C.”

“The road to recovery improves the person’s quality of life while reducing the costs to healthcare symptoms and reducing the risk of illegal activity and recidivism.”

SEARHC’s Front Street Clinic Opioid Treatment Program is the only service of its kind in Southeast Alaska and is certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the state of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Division of Behavioral Health, State Opioid Treatment Authority.

“If you or a friend or loved one is caught in the devastating grip of opioid abuse or dependence, help is here, and recovery is possible now,” said Thor. “All are welcome at the Front Street Clinic Opioid Treatment Program — all you need to do to begin treatment or ask questions is call us at 907-463-0600.”

Important Alaska Statistics

According to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Alaska Division of Public Health, Section of Epidemiology, from 2019 to 2020, fentanyl overdose deaths increased 193 percent statewide. Preliminary data suggests that in a comparison between the first three quarters of 2019 with the same three quarters in 2020, fentanyl overdose deaths increased approximately 238 percent statewide. Additionally, DHSS preliminary data shows that fentanyl has so far accounted for approximately 49 percent of all drug overdoses in Alaska in 2020; and DHSS data from 2018–2019, heroin-related deaths in Alaska increased 60 percent statewide.