Responding to increases in overdose, addiction, and substance misuse, local public health experts need accurate data to plan and implement evidence-based prevention and treatment programs. In many countries, national data are the tool most readily available for these efforts. In the United States, the National Study on Drug Use and Health and the Treatment Episode Data Set are data sources used by states to determine the extent of addiction. This project sought to determine if these national data sources are applicable for local use in addiction prevention and program planning. NSDUH prevalence estimates from 2015 to 2019 were applied to the state population to determine the number of persons estimated to be substance users. The prevalence estimates were compared over time with the population data and substance use treatment admissions to assess the covariance and population change as an indicator of efficacy. The primary drivers of fatal overdose in Alaska are fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine. Fentanyl use was not assessed in either dataset. When applying the estimated use prevalence to the population, heroin users varied annually by 1777 persons and methamphetamine varied up to 2143 persons. These observed variances did not correspond with state population changes nor any trend in the persons seeking treatment for these substances. Our analyses do not support the use of NSDUH data for planning in rural and remote areas. The methods used in NSDUH data collection exclude ~ 20% of the state population, mostly Native persons, based on location and language. The annual prevalence estimates applied to the population did not correspond with changes in population nor changes in treatment. Fentanyl, which causes the most overdoses in Alaska and is of primary concern locally, was not assessed.