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It looks like Ketchikan will be having a warm summer if the high...

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One of the most distasteful practices is to use children in an adult...

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Violet Katherine Booth, 86, died June 14, 2018, in Metlakatla. She was born Sept. 24, 1931, in Metlakatla.
Jesse Robert Zaugg, 34, died June 9, 2018, in a vehicle accident on Seward Highway outside of Anchorage. He was born Aug.
3/12/2018
An incentive

Here’s a career for you.

Ketchikan and Revilla high schools, along with the University of Southeast Ketchikan, will be graduating students in a matter of weeks.

What’s next? Vocational school? College? A job you’ve studied and trained for?

For those not sure yet, or even for those who might be wavering as to their current choice, here’s something to consider.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, along with other senators, is proposing legislation aimed at the shortage of professionals needed to provide treatment and recovery services to opioid abuse patients.

If passed, the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act would give up to $250,000 in school loan relief to students who choose this career path, provided they work in places with high overdose rates and a shortage of treatment providers for six years.

Whether the bill passes or not, the demand for physicians, nurses, social workers and behavioral health workers is increasing along with demand as a result of the opioid epidemic.

Currently, only 10 percent of the 22 million Americans with a substance use disorder receives treatment, according to a Murkowski press release citing the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Why? In part, because of the lack of licensed professionals.

Loan forgiveness is an incentive that cannot be lightly dismissed in times of extreme costs for higher education. In this case, it would be a huge benefit to students as well as the nation and its well-being.