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Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 8:00 am
Legislative Committee hearings
Oregon Capitol



Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 8:00 am
Legislative Committee hearings
Oregon Capitol



Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Friday, December 9, 2022 at 8:00 am
Legislative Committee hearings
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82nd Session of the Oregon Legislature Begins
Monday, January 9, 2023 at 8:00 am
The 2023 Session of the Oregon Legislature begins. Legislators are sworn in and bills are introduced.
Oregon Capitol, Salem


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Masking of Overdoses in Oregon
Decriminalizing drugs has failed and overdoses are skyrocketing

Ballot Measure 110 was the hot topic in Oregon’s House Committee on Behavior Health last week. In 2020, voters were convinced to decriminalize drugs and encourage self-help instead of incarceration, the first in the nation. Then Governor Brown and the Oregon Health Authority took health decisions away from Oregonians by mandating masks and vaccinations in the name of the supposed Coronavirus pandemic.

It seems that neither strategy is working out. Testimony from state officials admitted that decriminalizing drugs has failed and overdoses are skyrocketing while appropriated funds remain unspent. According to the Oregon Health Authority, $40 million has been spent and $265 million remains unspent. The Health Justice Recovery Alliance reported that hundreds of providers, which screen for needs, offer case management, treatment, housing and other services are waiting for funds to service 9,200 active methadone patients receiving opioid treatment from providers.

Oregon’s behavioral health director, Steve Allen, was playing the waiting game insisting it has strong potential, but the committee wasn’t buying it, especially with Representative Lily Morgan (R-Grants Pass). Her community in Oregon House District 3 has seen 700% increase in overdoses and a 120% increase in deaths.

Oregon went from 280 Opioid deaths in 2019 to 472 in 2020 to 607 in 2021, and 2022 is exceeding 20% higher every month than last year.

Allen also took a whipping from Secretary of State Shemia Fagan claiming the change of policy was to improve lives and improve communities, and instead problems with drug addictions have gotten worse.

From the hearing materials, one thing is evident – there wasn’t one report on the treatment of individuals. Every report was on handling funds. What results are taxpayers getting for their money?

Dr. Reginald Richardson, Executive Director of the Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission (ADPC) reported that Oregon is in the top 10 states for misuse of drugs, being number one in methamphetamine and Rx pain drugs, and dead last in access to treatment.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Developing subcommittees has been slow and it seems non-productive. ADPC is working on a pilot with Salem-Keizer School District.

Is it a coincident that overdose deaths have increased over 60% over the course of the pandemic? Even kids depression rates have doubled since the onset of the pandemic, and kids have more PTSD, higher rates of anxiety, more gender confusion, and higher rates of suicide.

Returning to a social environment has seen these kids acting out through bullying, more violence, with less discipline. Oregon is also in the lowest group of states for care available to students, and the care that is available often leads them down a dark path.

Are we looking at the source for solutions or masking the problem with money? Voters and parents need to seriously consider what kind of solution will bring permanent results.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-06-05 08:32:33Last Update: 2022-06-05 09:09:09



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