Regional Substance Abuse Services Village Sobriety Project: A Targeted Capacity Expansion Project (2002)

David Marshall, MA


The Village Sobriety Project, headed by the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) and funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA, CSAT, is in the process of expanding and refining behavioral health services in three remote Yup'ik/Cup'ik villages in western Alaska. Six resident Alaska Native wellness counselors in the three villages provide substance abuse treatment services using Alaska Native and Western modalities.


Specifically, the goal of Village Sobriety Project is to integrate the lessons learned and knowledge gained from the Chemical Misuse and Treatment Recovery Services (CMTRS) program into the operational fiber and treatment options offered by the substance abuse programs sponsored by the YKHC Behavioral Health Program. The outcomes of the integration are 1) to incorporate into the behavioral health system an ongoing, self sustaining substance abuse treatment program that utilizes traditional approaches, and 2) to incorporate a broader distribution of the traditional approaches throughout all treatment and prevention functions supported by the behavioral health system.


The traditional approaches would be applied to all the mental health prevention, treatment, and substance abuse functions within the YKHC behavioral health system. In order to complete the task, the VSP project needs to be integrated with all other mental health support services in the villages.


The Yukon Kuskokwim Corporation has asked the Institute for Health Studies to provide evaluation services for the federally funded village sobriety project. This project is an expansion of the model developed under the Chemical Misuse Treatment and Recovery Services (CMTRS) project. CMTRS is currently in its final year of operation.


The Village Sobriety Project supports behavioral health services to three villages in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta region. These villages include Scammon Bay, Hooper Bay, and Chevak. The project includes service provision training and evaluation services. ICHS has been requested to serve as the evaluator for this federally funded program.