Northway takes a stand against meth
Northway, as the final pit stop on the way to Canada, sees a few tourists and hunters, but it’s not the kind of place you’d expect to be a magnet for meth dealers. Only about 70 people live there.
But Northway does offer the isolation and secrecy necessary for dealers to operate under the radar.
Northway is southeast of Tok, about 50 miles from the border, once part of a circuit of drug dealers made to about a half-dozen Alaska Native communities,
Lorraine Titus, a member of a group called, “Take a Stand,” says at one point there were 15 addicts in the community – or about 20 percent of the population. But that number has dropped down to about two.
Titus credits the efforts of “Take a Stand,” whose members follow suspicious cars until they leave Northway.
Take a Stand member Gerald Albert says there were times he would stay up most of the night and just get a few hours of sleep before heading to work.
“We’ve got a list of names, Albert said. “We’ve got a list of license plates. We’ve got a list of vehicles that we watch.”
Albert turned over the information to the Alaska State Troopers, and together they teamed up to let the dealers know they weren’t welcome in Northway. In time, the dealers moved on.
“It’s been hard. It’s been rough. It’s been scary,” Titus said. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
Northway’s battle against meth is one of the stories featured on Frontiers Sunday.
This week’s show, “Grassroots Sobriety: Fighting Back,” also features the Rural Provider’s Conference, an Alaska Native sobriety movement, which has been around for more than 30 years.
Frontiers airs on Sunday, Oct. 8 at 4:30 and 10:30 p.m. on KTVA Channel 11.
Editor's Note: An initial version of this story had the wrong name for Gerald Albert.