Alcohol addiction is a disease that changes the way the brain works. It causes negative emotions, impulsive behavior, cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Treatment for alcohol addiction includes supervised detox, counseling and therapy, and support group participation.
Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence and Substance Use
Domestic violence is the intentional use of emotional, psychological, sexual or physical force by one family member or intimate partner to control another. Victims of domestic violence who struggle with addiction face significant barriers to receiving treatment, but programs that effectively address addiction and abuse-related trauma are available.
The Parkinson’s Forecast for Anchorage and Environs
Heads up fellow PwPD. We will beat back the darkness Saturday, Dec 16 by potlucking like we don’t care that it’s too dim to tell what exactly is on our plates. Not that we can taste anything, anyway, given that our sense of smell is shot. We’ll eat, watch the lights come on across the Anchorage bowl in the early winter gloaming, and all sing “Jingle Bells” if I have anything to say about it. I’ll bring something main-dishy, scads of festive plastic utensils, and charming holiday-themed paper plates and cups (although the theme of the holiday may be Halloween, I’m not exactly sure what I have on hand.) You bring whatever you think goes well with light and heat deprivation. You could consider bringing something known to be particularly good for People Packing Parkinson’s, blueberries, vegetables rich in color, leafy greens and, God bless ’em, tasty wild-caught Alaska salmon!
Those in need of more distraction from the bleak mid-winter (and that would be all of us) should consider going to voice pathologist Anne Ver Hoef’s gathering for those who wish to practice speaking to strengthen their voices. If you didn’t get the memo, here is the gist:
The second meeting of our PD Conversation Group is planned for Monday, December 18th at 3:30 at Regional Hospital , Conference room 1.
The Mat-Su Borough is looking for public input on developing and prioritizing a list of contaminated or potentially contaminated properties that may be eligible for EPA assessment funding. They are holding a public meeting on Aug. 21 to present the current inventory of properties, develop a prioritization process for using assessment funding, and taking recommendations on properties ripe for redevelopment that may not be on the list.
Brownfields funding is used to determine the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant that may be inhibiting reuse or redevelopment at a site. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties protects the environment, reduces blight, and takes development pressures off greenspaces and working lands. For more information on the meeting see the attached public invitation.
The Mat-Su Borough point of contact is Christopher Cole at Christopher.Cole@matsugov.us the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Brownfield point of contact is Lisa Griswold at Lisa.Griswold@alaska.gov.
You can also learn more at the project website: Mat-Su Borough: Brownfield”
Prevention and Education can save lives!
Women and Alcoholism
The Alaska Women’s Network is adding alcohol dependence to the Women and Health page because alcoholism is a disease that impacts women and girls. Alaska has a high rate of substance abuse and a high rate of abuse against women. Often the two are related.
What is alcoholism? Answer: Alcoholism, also known as “alcohol dependence,” is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It includes four symptoms:
Craving — A strong need, or compulsion, to drink.
Impaired control — The inability to limit one’s drinking on any given occasion.
Physical dependence — Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking.
Tolerance — The need for increasing amounts of alcohol in order to feel its effects. A woman who drinks gets drunker faster than her male partner and might engage in unprotected sex. A woman who drinks can be assaulted by a stranger or a friend.
In Alaska, women are murdered every year in cases where alcohol is a factor. The effects of alcohol on the liver are more severe for women than men, and women can develop cirrhosis and hepatitis sooner than men. More alcoholic women die from liver cirrhosis than men.
There is a great deal of information available on the Internet, but About.com has a collection of articles about women and the symptoms of alcoholism, types of treatment, and getting help through 12 step programs.
About.com has an Alcoholism Screening Quiz you can take.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Alaska also has one of the highest rates of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disease (FASD) in the country. The good news is that the rate dropped significantly (32%) from 1996 to 2002 for Native babies after a major education effort by the state and federal government (FAS report).
Babies whose mothers drink during pregnancy can have a long list of lifelong health problems, including brain damage. It is the only birth defect that is totally preventable. Learn more at the State of Alaska Health & Social Services website on FASD.
As with all health problems, see your health care provider. You can find an AA group near you atAlcoholics Anonymous Alaska or check your newspaper for listings of support groups.
Understand, Prevent & Resolve Life’s Challenges
Alaska Birth Network, a consumer based, grassroots organization centered on the belief that birth can profoundly affect our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. ABN was founded in 2008 as a chapter of Birth Network National. We are a team of local consumers, advocates, and health professionals dedicated to increasing the awareness and availability of evidence-based maternity care as defined by the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI), through information, advocacy, and support. We hold free monthly meetings to discuss topics related to pregnancy and birth, distribute Choices in Childbirth’s Guide to a Healthy Birth around the state, and do community outreach to help mothers access resources for healthy births.
Stormy Antonovich, Co-Leader
Network of Care is a comprehensive, Internet-based community resource for the elderly and people with disabilities, as well as their caregivers and service providers.
Alaska’s Network of Care was created by the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC), in cooperation with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority. The project is part of a broad effort by the SILC to improve and better coordinate long-term care services for Alaskan seniors and persons experiencing disabilities.
Exercise your physical and spiritual well-being; check out the seasonal facility openings for our parks, trails and campgrounds at:
Alaska Department of Natural Resources
Get connected, get answers! United Way’s 2-1-1 is a 24/7 easy to remember phone number with supporting website to connect individuals with vital resources in their community.
Anchorage Project Access
Although access to health care and lack of health insurance is a complicated national problem, hundreds of communities across the United States have developed plans within their communities to provide an organized network for low-income people to receive health care.
One model is a volunteer health care provider network, developed by the medical society in Asheville, North Carolina. That model has resulted in a decrease in ER use by the target population by 70%, reduced hospital charity expenses by 23%, and decreased work absenteeism among those enrolled.
Want to know more about your prescriptions?
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The Sister Study is conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health, of the US Department of Health and Human Services. From 2004 to 2009, more than 50,000 women across the US and Puerto Rico, who were between ages 35–74 and whose sister had breast cancer, joined this landmark research effort to find causes of breast cancer. Because of their shared environment, genes, and experiences, studying sisters provides a greater chance of identifying risk factors that may help us find ways to prevent breast cancer.
The Sister Study is currently tracking the health of women in the cohort. Participants complete health updates each year, as well as detailed questionnaires about health and experiences every two-to-three years. Research in the Sister Study focuses on causes of breast cancer and other health issues in women, as well as on factors that influence quality of life and outcomes after a breast cancer diagnosis.
More than 14,000 Alaskan Women screened throughout Alaska, the Alaska Breast and Cervical Health Check (BCHC) program offers free or low-cost breast and cervical health screening to income eligible women ages 21 to 64 who does not have insurance, cannot meet their deductible or whose insurance does not pay for a woman’s annual health exam. A Health Check starts with a Pap test, pelvic exam and clinical breast exams. Women 40 – 64 also receives a mammogram as well.
The YWCA Alaska Women’s Wellness ENCOREplus program works to eradicate health disparities by increasing access to healthcare. We do this through intensive community education, connection to life-saving screenings and direct assistance to individuals experiencing barriers to healthcare.
To learn more about the program or find out if you are eligible, call YWCA Alaska Women’s Wellness ENCOREplus at 907/644-9620 or visit our website at http://ywcaak.org/womens-wellness-2/ for breast and cervical cancer outreach, education and screening, and our Lend a Helping Hand and Men, too program information.
Women’s Wellness Outreach Coordinator
324 E. 5th Ave.
Anchorage, AK 99501
Or call 1-800-410-6266 to find the screening services nearest you.
Early Intervention/Infant Learning Program
Women often have questions about childhood development. Children roll over, sit alone, learn to talk, crawl and walk at different times and ages. If you have questions about your infant or toddler’s development, talk to your doctor or your local early intervention specialist.
Endometriosis online support group
Wired for Health – Breast Cancer Awareness
is information sponsored by the YWCA in Anchorage and is a superb site for information on breast cancer.
Residence XII for Women, Seattle
Chemical Dependency Treatment Center for Women. Run by women, for women, for the past sixteen years. The website includes a survey if you feel you have a dependency problem. To our knowledge, there is no comparable facility in Alaska – if you know of one, please e-mail the Web Goddess. Who amongst us hasn’t been touched by alcohol or drug abuse?
Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center
A reservation-based, non-profit organization in South Dakota serving Native American women and their families. The website makes the Resource Center’s publications on Native American public health available to the community at large. Contact: Sandy Wade.
Do you have information about health care issues for women in Alaska? Resources? Websites you’ve found helpful? Support Groups? Please e-mail the Web Goddess and we’ll spread the word.