Governor Walker Declares Opioid Disaster

Submitted by Staff Reporter on 02/15/2017 - 17:36.

Earlier today (WED) in Juneau, Governor Bill Walker issued a public health disaster declaration due to opioid abuse in Alaska.

Opioids are pain relieving drugs that activate in the nervous system, and one of the most common opioid drug addictions is heroin.

In the letter Walker wrote to the legislature, he mentioned the Alaska based focus groups already established to deal with opioid abuse, but also noted that a lack of funds is effecting the distribution of naloxone -- a medicine that blocks and reverses the effects of opioid medications, and may prevent an overdose in a medical emergency.

Walker is proposing to take a 4.1 million dollar federal grant that runs over five years.

He said that would be a short term fix, but adds there is a need for a long term resolution.