What's New

Thursday, March 1st
The Petroleum Club 3301 C St.

Solving Alaska’s Opioid Epidemic


The Petroleum Club of Anchorage
Thursday, March 1st

12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m.

Doors open at 11:30am


The opioid crisis impacts every demographic in every corner of our state.  For Americans under the age of 50, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death.  From 2000 to 2016, more than 600,000 people in the US died from drug overdoses. In Alaska, heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled between 2009 and 2015. Due to the scale of this epidemic, Governor Walker has issued a disaster declaration establishing a statewide Overdose Response Program, issued an administrative order directing state departments to prioritize resources to combat the opioid epidemic, and signed opioid reform legislation.

On March 1st, we will host two speakers to help us understand how we got here, and what public policies we can implement to help end this epidemic and save lives.


Melissa Weiksnar

Melissa Weiksnar has been a writer, speaker, and advocate since 2010, using her daughter Amy’s story to educate about how addiction can impact any family. She published “Heroin’s Puppet -Amy (and her disease)” in 2012, and “It’s Not Gunna Be an Addiction: the Adolescent Journals of Amelia F.W. Caruso (1989-2009)” in 2014. She has formally shared with over 21,000 listeners in schools, community, healthcare, and religious settings.

Ms. Weiksnar attended Wellesley College and is a graduate of MIT, the University of Houston, and Harvard Business School. She spent the first part of her career in high tech, including co-founding Synernetics Inc. In 2002 she switched to high school teaching, and most recently worked at the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research at Boston Children’s Hospital. Ms. Weiksnar, who repatriated to her native Buffalo NY in 2016, is married with two older children.


Jay Butler

Jay C. Butler, M.D. is the state’s Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Division of Public Health at the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.  He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Medical School, has completed clinical trainings at Vanderbilt and Emory Universities, and maintains clinical board certifications in infectious diseases, internal medicine, and pediatrics. He has authored or co-authored over 100 scientific papers and medical textbook chapters on infectious diseases and emergency preparedness and he is an affiliate professor of medicine at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

CWN Members $30, Non-Members $40

Register online at www.commonwealthnorth.org


Commonwealth North
711 M Street, Suite 104, Anchorage AK 99501
Tel: (907) 276-1414   Fax: (907) 276-6350