Decriminalizing drugs has failed and overdoses are skyrocketing
allot 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
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.
|Post Date: 2022-06-05 08:32:33||Last Update: 2022-06-05 09:09:09|