Alcohol and drugs cost Alaska over $3 billion a year

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A new report shows costs from alcohol and drug abuse in Alaska have totaled more than $3 billion a year.

The Alaska Mental Health Trust study says the multi–billion dollar total is equal to roughly $4,000 per state resident, with alcoholism causing more economic damage than drug abuse.

The report was completed by the McDowell Group.

Researchers found that one–third of the economic costs from alcohol use are attributable to lost income for the families and local economies due to those who die from alcohol–related causes.

The trust's legislative liaison, Jeff Jessee, says ensuring that there are treatment options available for those struggling with addictions will help cut some of the costs.