My friend that worked in Barrow mentioned the alcoholism problem more than a few times. He said it wasn't too unusual to find one of the native americans (sometimes even children) wandering about dead drunk in the cold. For their own safety, they would bring them into his work place and let them sleep it off. He said there were quite a few times when he had 2 or 3 people snoring away in the corner of the room while he was doing his work.
He worked for the US Government and to get people to work up there, the government gave them a number of perks, one of which was to pay for shipping of his belongings up there. That included his car, which was shipped on a cargo plane from Anchorage. He said there wasn't much in the way of roads up there, but he at least had it to drive around town. They also shipped it back when he left.
He apparently didn't see polar bears too often because the local police worked to keep them chased out of town. That was where the dump was and that probably was more attractive to the bears anyway. He had his cat up there and said the cat liked to go outside when it wasn't too cold and catch lemmings and other rodents, which were abundant.