only 1% of users go to rehab

Oregon’s decriminalization of hard drugs has “failed,” according to data from its health authority, with less than one percent of users eligible for state-funded treatment.

The state has reported a $302 million drop in treatment services since February 2021 took measures to reduce personal possession of drugs, including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD and others.

Unintentional fatal overdoses have skyrocketed since then. Opioid overdose deaths jumped from 472 to 739 in 2021.

data compiled by Oregon Health Authority showed that 16,000 people used services for drug treatment in the first year of de-criminalisation, but only 0.85% of them – the equivalent of 136 people – actually entered programs to get them off drugs.

The report, compiled by Public Health Strategist, said those numbers were under-reported by organizations that sent $31.4m to treat abusers.

Vanessa Codell,
Less than 1% of eligible users for state-funded treatment admitted to rehab in Oregon’s decriminalization of hard drugs.
AP/Andrew Selsky

Republican gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazen told The Post, “Parts of the measure affected whether a person could directly get into treatment because of drug use.”

“Less than one percent of people who engage in these harmful behaviors are electing to pursue treatment.

“That means we’re not really solving this crisis in Oregon, and so we have to repeal it,” she said.

A Woman Enters the Great Circle Drug
The state has spent $302 million in treatment services.
AP/Andrew Selsky

The same public health report revealed that he spent his budget on buying needles giving drug addicts to inject safely and to give naloxone shots to reverse overdose. The state also bought 12 vehicles with mobile exam rooms and also invested in a recovery housing motel to inspect addicts as well as distribute “harm-reduction supplies.”

Meanwhile, 81 percent of those ticketed by the police for substance abuse simply ignored fines and court dates.

To reject a $45 to $100 citation, drug users are required to call a statewide hotline that provides information about drug testing or treatment within 45 days of the citation. The offender must appear in court to have his case dismissed.

Scott Winkles, a lobbyist for the League of Oregon Cities, told The Post: “What we are hearing is that the citation portion of it is not doing what it is intended to do.

“We are asking before the legislature is called, to start working on some reforms on how we can introduce some accountability into the system… the way we were doing things earlier was not working either. But this new system needs some work.”

Rather than freeing hard drugs from crime, Drazen said more attention should be paid to maintaining funding for drug prevention programs and returning to more traditional approaches such as diversion courts and compulsory treatment programs.

“They have taken an approach to addiction, which is not sufficient for prevention and treatment, and that is clearly very permissive,” Drazen said.

“Sometimes people need results to be able to enter treatment and be able to make a long-term recovery.

“Possession of these hard drugs and the use of these hard drugs in public places has become common, and it is not safe in our communities,” she said.

Jennifer Worth, operations director of the Great Circle Treatment Center,
Some advocates believe that the focus should be on maintaining funding for drug prevention programs.
AP/Andrew Selsky
Measure 110 Campaign
Public health reports revealed that he had spent his budget on buying needles to give drug addicts safe injections.

The Oregon Judicial Department said that from February 1, 2021 to August 31, 66% of those cited were arrested for methamphetamine and 17% for heroin.

Drug Policy Alliance figures showed in the first 10 months after the new drug possession laws went into effect – enacted after a vote by Oregon residents – arrests were 60% less than the 9,100 recorded in the previous year.

Oregon citizens say crime, homelessness and addiction have gotten worse. Ros Strength, 33, said she no longer felt safe in downtown Portland.

“It’s definitely concerning when you see people out on the streets under the influence,” she said.

Signs at Great Circle Treatment Center
Opioid overdose deaths increased from 472 to 739 in 2021.
AP/Andrew Selsky

“It makes you feel insecure. Drug addiction and homelessness are all over the city.

“Not so long ago, I was in town [and] People were talking obscene and getting violent. Now this is the norm. Strength said a nearby restaurant was robbed, while a florist’s van was stolen some time ago.

Big-name restaurants and other businesses have also closed their doors, including Starbucks, which closed two of its Portland locations over employee safety concerns.

During a press conference on September 20, Steve Allen, the Oregon Health Authority’s director of behavioral health, acknowledged that the program’s start was a rocky one, but announced that the state had now invested $302 million to tackle addiction, partly Funded through the sale of legal marijuana.

Syringes found behind vacant property
“Sometimes people need results to be able to enter treatment and be able to make a long-term recovery.” Scott Winkles said.
AP/Mary Hudetz

Allen said, “There’s a lot to be learned — during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic was shrinking Oregon’s behavioral health care workforce, draining critical resources and increasing demand for these services. ,” said Allen.

“We understand and acknowledge the frustration in our communities, service providers, and people seeking behavioral health services.”

But Winkles warns that people are at breaking point.

He told the Associated Press: “People need to see progress.” If you’re living in a community where you’re getting needles, how many times do you need to look for needles in a park before you lose your temper? “

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