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Oregon Drug Epidemic

Drug addiction and alcoholism is a huge ongoing problem in the state of Oregon. Illicit drug use in this state alone exceeds the national average. In 2012 and 2013, Oregon was ranked #4 in the U.S. for past month drug use on youth ages 12 and up. It is a significant threat to Oregon's public health, safety, and the welfare of the people. It has been estimated that in Oregon alone, substance abuse costs exceed more than $6 billion dollars a year. Drug abuse and addiction is a huge drain to the economy of Oregon.

To break it down financially, overall, Oregon has lost more than $2 billion dollars directly because of substance abuse. In criminal conduct and victimization, lost earnings total more than $1.2 billion dollars. In accidental deaths, premature deaths, and overdoses, it cost the state of Oregon $978 million dollars... That's roughly $4 billion dollars in lost finances alone for the state of Oregon. In health care and aid, $506 million dollars was spent in medical costs and insurance administration. In outpatient programs, and other services, Oregon has spent $307 million dollars. Criminal justice alone, nearly $656 million dollars has been spent. Automobile crashes and damages total $271 million dollars, fire damages totaling $26 million, and just in welfare alone, $13 million dollars. As you can see, Oregon is practically bleeding financially due to the drug epidemic and these amounts are all being paid by the citizens of Oregon. Whether you realize it now or not, if you reside in Oregon, big or small town, drug addiction touches your life in some way.

Mainly in the state of Oregon, the focus seems to be specifically in the area of Portland. In Portland alone, the drug statistics match up pretty much to the rest of the state. After taking a look at evidence and data researched by The Oregon Health Care Authority, which tracks overdoses and drug related deaths, as well as the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program, or HIDTA, which tracks and analyzes which drugs pose the greatest threat to state residents, their main focus in Oregon is specifically Portland and the surrounding Multnomah County. It is has been determined that since 1999, there has been a significant increase in several addiction-related categories:

In 2016, the HIDTA has made the determination that between the years of 2000 and 2012, over 4,000 people of Oregon have died due to accidental deaths and overdoses from drug abuse. That averages at about 322 people per year that have lost their lives due to drug addiction. During that same time period of 12 years, more than 15,000 people of Oregon were hospitalized for unintentional and accidental drug overdoses injuries. As you can see, this drug epidemic has and is affecting many of the Oregon state citizens. Even though the rate of fatal overdoses has declined since 2007, it is still almost doubled what it was in 1999.

In conclusion, the drug epidemic is a serious problem for the state of Oregon and its people and the only effective solution currently is treatment and drug rehab for the addict. Statewide in Oregon, there are more than 300,000 people who are currently suffering and dealing with addiction. Based on statistics done by the Oregon Health Authority, there is an unmet need in drug rehabilitation for both drug addiction and alcoholism in the state. Roughly 2.7% of drug abusers and addicts, and 7.1% of alcoholics are not getting the help or treatment that they need. The people of Portland, as well as the entire state of Oregon, suffer from various drug addictions that are higher than the entire U.S. average. The drugs and problems they cause are affecting the state of Oregon substantially.

Illicit Drug Use in the Past Month among Persons Aged 12 or Older in Oregon, by Substate Region: Percentages, Annual Averages Based on 2010, 2011, and 2012 NSDUHs (Source: SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health)

Oregon ranks in the 21st highest drug overdose mortality rate in the US, with 12.9 per 100,000 residents suffering from a drug overdose fatalities.

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