ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Alaska State Troopers have released a new tool to give the public a closer look at the statewide drug enforcement unit. Troopers say they hope the new digital dashboard connects with communities across the state and encourages Alaskans to start having conversations.
According to data released last year, the economic cost of drug and alcohol abuse in Alaska sits at $3.1 billion.
Nearly two months after the White House designated much of the state as a "high intensity drug trafficking area" or HIDTA, AST released the new online resource allowing users to track how much illegal alcohol and narcotics are seized each month.
"It's not just an issue in your home, its not just a personal use issue that happens at home. It's spilling onto the roads, creating gun violence, it's having an impact on how many vehicles are being stolen. It's burglaries, those kinds of things that it translates to," Capt. Michael Duxbury with the state drug enforcement unit said.
Duxbury says cocaine production is a growing problem but heroin and meth are already widely abused in the state."We had enough seized heroin alone last year to dose everyone one and a half times in the entire state using the 2016 census."
Troopers say the newest numbers will be added online around day 20 of each month.
The data dashboard also shows money and drugs seized by K9 officers — more than $4,500 in heroin, cocaine and meth for the month of May.