Methadone Clinics North Pole AK

Methadone has become the hot topic publicly due to it being finally accepted as a proper form of heroin and opiate addiction treatment. Universities and other medical institutions of learning have incorporated addiction into separate course studies, prior to the early part of this century, the only study on addiction in 4 years of medical school was approximately one hour in length, 3/4 of which was spent on alcohol addiction. Read on for more.

Fairbanks Native Association
Ralph Perdue Center
3100 South Cushman Street, Suite 100,
Fairbanks, AK99701
(907) 452-6251x6411
www.fairbanksnative.org

Intake Phone Numbers:
(907) 452-6251x6400

Services Offered: Substance abuse treatment

Residency: Residential long-term treatment (more than 30 days), Outpatient

Payment Accepted: Self payment, Medicaid, Medicare, Private health insurance, Military insurance (e.g., VA,TRICARE)

Specializing in DUI/DWI offenders

For thousands of years Alaska’s first people, jointly called Alaska Natives, made their livelihood as subsistence hunters and fishers (Alaska’s History: The People, Land and Events of the North Country, 1993). In Alaska’s interior region the subsistence traditions of our ancestors were forever changed by the first successful expedition into the Interior by Lt. Henry Allen in 1885 and the discovery of gold in the Tanana Valley surrounding Fairbanks. The discovery of gold brought thousands of non-Native people to the area and the Alaska Native traditional subsistence lifestyle began to give way to one marked by permanent villages, which today rely in large part on a cash economy.

The increasing reliance of these villages on the cash economy has forced many Alaska Natives to leave their ancestral homelands for Alaska’s urban areas, including Fairbanks, to seek employment. In 1960, only 12% of Alaska Natives lived in urban areas. By 1990 the percent of Alaska Natives living in urban areas increased to 44%. Population changes between 1980 and 1990 reflect the highest rate of Native in-migration to urban centers. In 1990, for instance, 11% of the population of the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area (Alaska’s Interior) migrated to other parts of Alaska (Alaska Department of Labor, 1994).

The experiences of the first Alaska Natives to move to the city of Fairbanks were marked by discrimination. Many Alaska Native men serving in the United States Army during World War II at Ladd Airfield Base near Fairbanks were barred from Fairbanks stores, hotels, restaurants, and bars. At that time “No Indians” signs and attitudes were an integral part of the Alaska Native experience in urban areas.

By the mid-1960s most of the signs had come down, but Alaska Natives continued to find that they were welcome in few public places. “Even people who didn’t drink had no place to go except the bars,” said Poldine Carlo, Athabascan Native Elder and one of FNA’s charter members, when asked why she started FNA. “Because there was nowhere else for them to go, we started inviting people over to our house. For two or three winters, we even had different village mushers and their dogs staying here in the woods behind our house.”

It was these experiences that led Poldine Carlo and others, including her husband Bill and Ralph Perdue, Morris Thompson, Margie Wright, John Sackett, and Max Huhndorf to organize an association for urban Alaska Natives. While the Civil Rights Movement was shaking the nation, Alaska Natives in Fairbanks started meeting around Poldine’s kitchen table to design an association that would bring Alaska Native people living in Fairbanks together; an association that would give them a sense of belonging where there was none; an association that would speak on behalf of Alaska Natives, who had little political clout; and an association that would meet their cultural, social, and economic needs.

In 1967 FNA was incorporated as a nonprofit under the laws of the State of Alaska. Membership then as it is now was open to Alaska Natives and American Indians of one-quarter blood or greater who once a year elect a nine-person board of directors. Today FNA is a powerful and influential Native American voice in Alaska. Over the years our organization has changed public policies that were discriminatory to our people and our programs have helped countless people find new jobs, maintain sobriety, celebrate their culture, and receive an education.

As FNA continues to build a stronger community, we will hold true to our mission “to provide quality services in a professional manner for our membership and the greater Fairbanks community.”

Methadone: Is it Really a Proper Treatment for Heroin Addicts?

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Methadone: Is it Really a Proper Treatment For Heroin Addicts?

Ericka Lear

Friday, September 14, 2007 Methadone has become the hot topic publicly due to it being finally accepted as a proper form of heroin and opiate addiction treatment. Universities and other medical institutions of learning have incorporated addiction into separate course studies, prior to the early part of this century, the only study on addiction in 4 years of medical school was approximately one hour in length, 3/4 of which was spent on alcohol addiction.

Public perception tends to fall behind on medical acceptance; until recently, the general consensus on depression and other mental health disorders was one of character defect, a flaw in willpower, or just plain laziness (i.e. "If they would just get up and start doing something, they'd be fine.") Many people still avidly believe today that addiction is only caused through choice and that society should not be responsible for the poor choices of another person. Interestingly, it should be noted that many medical disorders which plague our society are primarily based on a poor choice. Heart disease, differing types of cancers, diabetes (especially type II), and AIDS occur when the afflicted makes a choice in life which negatively affects health. Knowing this, it is interesting to see the differences in attitudes between the aforementioned diseases and addiction. How many people would turn out for a Relay for Life to fight addiction, or a telethon to raise money to improve addiction treatment?

That being said, methadone is currently considered by the medical community to be the gold standard for opiate addiction treatment. Why? It seems odd that physicians would treat heroin/opiate addiction with a synthetic opiate and those ignorant to the mechanics and progression of addiction believe that it is just trading one addiction for another.

The first problem we come across publicly is the tendency to combine dependence and addiction into one group. Dependence is when a patient ceases taking medication, when to do so causes a set of aggravating abnormal effects of withdrawal. It can be fatal in some medications when abruptly ceased. Addiction has a component of dependence within it, however there is an all-encompassing attribute of behavioral, physical, and emotional changes that occur specifically with it that does not occur when just dependent.

Next, the advent of the MRI proved the postulating theory of Dr Vincent Dole and Dr Marie Nyswander; that opiate addiction is a metabolic disorder which causes multiple changes in the brain and body which can be permanent. Opiates, when artificially administered with no source of physical pain, causes a decrease or cessation of endorphin function. Endorphins are chemicals that are released by the body that help to regulate a number of processes, most notably mood, sleep, motivation, stress, sexual drive, and hunger. When a disruption occurs in the system, then ra...

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