DEA Visits Alaska to Talk About Opioid Epidemic

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The interior community gathered Tuesday night to have an open discussion about the opioid epidemic at a summit hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The conversation focused on how our town, state, and country are working to tackle the epidemic. Survivors, treatment providers, and enforcement officials were in attendance.

During the opioid summit, opioid survivors brought up the question of whether putting addicts in jail is beneficial or does them more harm.

One opioid recovery speaker said, "I think through my sentence, I was able to get into treatment that was part of my sentence. I think for me, the jail system saved my life."

Ricardo Quintero from the Drug Enforcement Administration says it's a delicate balance.

"If a crime is committed, there's a victim. However, there are treatment services. All of these people can offer treatment," he said.

Quintero says combating the opioid epidemic will take a team effort.

This was the second time that the DEA has come up from Seattle to host an Opioid Summit and have these important conversations around the ongoing opioid crisis.