Nonprofit offers support for Alaskans struggling with substance use amid COVID-19 outbreak

Some experts warn the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic could cause a spike in alcohol and other substance use. A local nonprofit wants Alaskans to know it’s keeping its doors open by moving a majority of services over the phone and online. 

“Certainly this situation right now with COVID is creating a lot of pressure — loss of jobs, concern about health and safety of family,” said Philip Licht, Executive Director of Set Free Alaska, who identifies as being in recovery from addiction himself. 

Behavioral health services for mental health or substance use disorders are considered essential services in the COVID-19 crisis, meaning providers can continue to operate. Research has shown that traumatic events can have serious effects on substance use. Read more of this story from KTVA here.