Alaska was one of the tops states for illicit drug use. Alcohol, heroin, methamphetamine, prescription drugs, cocaine, and marijuana are widely used throughout the state. The abuse of opioids has also increased within the state as a result of fentanyl, and the abuse of drugs laced with fentanyl. Synthetic drugs such as bath salts continue to be imported and sold online. Alcohol continues to remain the primary substance of abuse in the state, followed by opioids and methamphetamine. Alaskans tend to experience higher rates of alcohol-attributable mortality compared to most other states. Twice as many deaths are alcohol-related when compared to methamphetamine and opioid deaths combined.
Alcohol is frequently trafficked into Alaskan villages via local air carriers, private aircraft, boats, and snow machines. Bootlegging alcohol remains one of Alaska's most lucrative criminal enterprises. Over 75 Alaska communities have, by local opinion, banned the importation or possession of alcoholic beverages. It may be a felony crime to ship alcohol to those communities. Alcohol abuse leads to serious addiction problems, which require in-depth treatment and detox. Heroin use in the state is not isolated to urban areas of Alaska. Heroin is imported into the state, and in remote locations, drug dealers can charge $800 to $1000 per gram of heroin.
Methamphetamine use in Alaska has increased, and labs have been discovered in single and multi-family homes within rural locations of the state. However, in recent years the number of labs found in the state is statistically null. The methamphetamine being found in Alaska is coming from super labs in Mexico and imported into the state. The main concern in Alaska currently is the availability of opioid-based medication. Roughly 80% of the heroin users in treatment started their addiction with prescription opioids. Drug treatment centers all throughout Alaska treat people who are addicted to these different drugs.