Here is a sampling of editorial opinions from Alaska newspapers:
Oct. 16, 2012:
Ketchikan Daily News: Reduce abuse
It's great to be able to do something — anything — to reduce drug abuse.
The Alaska State Troopers, along with other police agencies, participate in the National Prescription Drug Take Back twice a year.
One occurred in April; the latest this fall when Alaskans turned in 1,838 pounds of prescription medication to authorities. Those drugs won't be falling into the wrong hands — children and other people who have no business with them.
The Drug Enforcement Administration hopes to one day establish a nationwide disposal process for prescription medications. Until then, the take-back event occurs every six months.
The Alaska National Guard Counterdrug Support Program also lent a hand in the event.
Medicines left over long periods in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse, according to the Troopers. More people abuse prescription drugs than use cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined, according to a 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Most of the prescription drugs used by abusers are taken from family and friends, specifically from home medicine cabinets.
The best way to prevent such abuse is to eliminate the leftover drugs. This event does that. There's no telling what effect it has on specific people's lives, but it certainly must save some of them. They can't use the drugs that are out of their reach.
And this event is something all Alaskans can participate in to save lives and reduce drug abuse.
Oct. 15, 2012:
Ketchikan Daily News: CG proposals
Alaska wouldn't do well without the U.S. Coast Guard. With the advent of recent Arctic exploration and development, that dependence is growing.
Congress currently is writing the Coast Guard Authorization Act.
A few of the provisions key to Alaska involve expanding Arctic capabilities, assisting fishermen and preserving Coast Guard maritime history.
One key being proposed for inclusion in the final version of the act would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to study and report on the need for additional Coast Guard expertise in the Arctic.
Another proposal conveys the CGC Storis to the nonprofit Storis Museum in Juneau. The vessel would be used to educate and memorialize the maritime heritage of the vessel and its activities in Alaska.
The final two proposals would protect Alaska fishermen from losing their permits by establishing them as property ineligible for seizure during legal actions, and exempt thousands of fishing vessels from one-size-fits-all permits pertaining to discharges.
All of these proposals are key to Alaskans; in some cases, to Alaska's visitors. Alaska's congressional delegation is intent on their inclusion in the Coast Guard act.
Alaskans are too.