Oregon Spent $300 Million On Drug Addict Services, Experts Tell Lawmakers Itís Not Working | Eastern North Carolina Now | The state's drug crisis continues to rage.

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Mairead Elordi.

    Oregon has spent more than $300 million on services for drug addicts, but experts are warning lawmakers that the state's efforts are not working.

    Since Oregon effectively decriminalized drugs in 2020, the state has poured about $302 million into addiction and social services for addicts, but the overdose death rate has only risen, largely driven by an influx of fentanyl.

    Last week, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced that it had finally awarded the $302 million to nonprofits working to combat addiction. The funding was the first round of grants awarded under Oregon's drug decriminalization law, Measure 110, which decriminalized possession of small amounts of most hard drugs, including cocaine, heroin, LSD, and methamphetamine.

    The law's grant program uses tax dollars from marijuana sales for addiction services. The grant money goes to pay for services not covered by Medicaid, such as outreach, peer mentors, housing, and clean needles for intravenous drug use.

    On Wednesday, two addiction experts told lawmakers that the state's lenient approach to the addiction crisis has not been enough.

    "On the one hand we have highly rewarding drugs which are widely available, and on the other little or no pressure to stop using them," Keith Humphreys, a Stanford University psychology professor, told Oregon's Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110 Implementation.

    "Under those conditions we should expect to see exactly what Oregon is experiencing: extensive drug use, extensive addiction and not much treatment seeking," Humphreys said.

    Another addiction expert who testified emphasized that law enforcement, along with better treatment and addiction prevention infrastructure, must play a part in combating the crisis.

    "The illicit fentanyl and methamphetamine challenges require sophisticated approaches to slow the inflow of drugs into Oregon," said Dr. Todd Korthuis, Oregon Health & Science University's head of addiction medicine, according to his written testimony.

    "We can't compete with a rapidly changing drug supply chain without law enforcement," he said.

    Korthius also said that Measure 110 had decreased drug-related arrests by nearly 90%, but more people aren't getting into treatment.

    "Those who survive experimentation can quickly become addicted," Korthuis said.

    "Despite the best efforts and good intentions of many, our addiction treatment system has been outpaced by these trends," he added.

    In 2020, Oregon had the second highest drug use rate in the country, just barely behind Montana, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

    Oregon was also the worst state for drug addiction treatment access in 2020, with 18% of people unable to get access to treatment, up from close to 9% in 2019, according to the survey.

    Last year, deaths from drug overdoses in Oregon rose by more than a third to more than 1,060, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Oregon's health agency was also criticized for not distributing the money fast enough as the crisis worsened and overdose deaths ticked up.

    "We understand the frustration this caused in our communities," said Steve Allen, OHA's behavioral health director. "When you do something for the first time you're going to make mistakes."

    It's not just newer drugs like fentanyl driving Oregon's addiction crisis, either. Older drugs like methamphetamine have also seen a resurgence.

poll#164
It has been far too many years since the Woke theology interlaced its canons within the fabric of the Indoctrination Realm, so it is nigh time to ask: Does this Representative Republic continue, as a functioning society of a self-governed people, by contending with the unusual, self absorbed dictates of the Woke, and their vast array of Victimhood scenarios?
  Yes, the Religion of Woke must continue; there are so many groups of underprivileged, underserved, a direct result of unrelenting Inequity; they deserve everything.
  No; the Woke fools must be toppled from their self-anointed pedestal; a functioning society of a good Constitutional people cannot withstand this level of "existential" favoritism as it exists now.
  I just observe; with this thoughtful observation: What will happen "when the Vikings are breeching our walls;" how do the Woke react?
334 total vote(s)     What's your Opinion?


poll#154
Inarguably, the policies of the Democrats in congress and Joe Biden as the Executive is plunging the United States into a recession, if we are not already there; a recession that was completely avoidable. Will abrupt changes in policies occur in time?
  Yes, the Democrats have a bold plan, yet to be revealed, to save us.
  No, there will have to be a complete undoing of the damage done by these Democrats.
  I can't do simple math, so how am I to understand the concept of basic economics.
1,181 total vote(s)     What's your Opinion?

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