Oregon Substance Abuse and Treatment
If you traveled Oregon and spent time admiring its wild coastline, snowy peaks, lush farmlands and rich forests, you might think you had reached an area at last where the invasions of drug trafficking and abuse had not yet arrived. But you would be wrong. Any area with Interstates, with highways, seaports or airports is going to be exploited by drug traffickers. It doesn't matter how many people become addicted or even lose their lives as long as these traffickers can stay in business and rake in millions of dollars.
In 1999, several counties in Oregon were selected to comprise a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. Currently, eight counties are included in the list: Multnomah, Washington, Marion, Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Deschutes and Umatilla. Lane County, which includes Eugene, is a county of interest and may be the next one added to the list.
Oregon Sees High Levels of Abuse for Many Drugs
Oregonians don't specialize in their drug consumption. Marijuana is available and is abused everywhere. Methamphetamine is stated by many law enforcement officers to be the biggest threat. Cocaine is readily available, as evidenced by steadily rising arrest figures in the last few years. Heroin is a problem primarily in the Portland area. Prescription drug abuse, particularly among teens and young adults, has been rising the last few years, and now accounts for more deaths than any illicit drug. Club drugs such as MDMA (ecstasy), ketamine, LSD, GHB are frequently found in party or college environments.
Mexican drug trafficking organizations are responsible for most of the volume of drugs in the state. They traffic in cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana to all corners of the state. Their heroin is frequently stockpiled in Salem for distribution to Portland. A few local methamphetamine cooks make up batches of that drug, despite the restrictive pseudoephedrine purchase laws. The end result is that there is plenty of supply for any appetite for any of these addictive illicit or prescription drugs.
The Asian Connection
Asian criminal groups from Canada are responsible for more supplies of drugs coming into or being manufactured in the state. Vietnamese criminals enter from Canada and either set up channels for sale of potent British Columbian marijuana or they establish indoor grows in houses or apartments they convert for this purpose. They are expert at bypassing power meters to conceal the electricity that must be drawn for this purpose, and then they cover the windows, erect hydroponic tanks and grow lights and control the humidity. In the process, they normally ruin the house due to mold growth and structural damage to facilitate the operation.
Mexican drug trafficking organizations are usually the ones who set up the outdoor grows that are often found on public lands especially near the southern coast, on the backside of Mount Hood and in the northeastern part of the state. These grows not only damage the environment, they are also usually guarded by traffickers with guns, meaning they pose a real threat to hikers.
Pharmaceutical Drug Abuse High Among the Young
They are the second-most abused drugs by the young, after marijuana. Abusers get their drugs through illegal prescribing by unscrupulous health care professionals, illicit sale by dishonest pharmacists, thefts from hospitals or nursing homes or Internet purchases. Robberies from pharmacies have been on the increase recently. Most common drugs being abused are oxycodone products (OxyContin, Percocet and Percodan), hydrocodone products (Vicodin and Lortab), anabolic steroids and methadone.
Methadone alone causes more deaths than any other drug, with 131 deaths in 2008. Other drugs being held responsible for deaths are heroin (119), methamphetamine (106), cocaine (51), cannabis (46) and oxycodone (39). In most drug-related deaths, the decedent consumed more than one drug, except in the case of opiates/opioids, cocaine and accidental deaths after alcohol consumption.
Eliminating Addiction and Substance Abuse Must Come About by Reducing Demand
No matter what civic leaders do about drug traffickers, no matter how many Oregon citizens go to jail for possessing or selling drugs, the demand must drop to bring this trade to a halt. While tens of thousands of Oregonians enter drug treatment facilities each year, as yet this treatment has not resulted in a noticeable drop in demand and use.
In 2008, more than 50,000 citizens found substance abuse treatment at a publicly-funded facility. More than half were there for alcohol abuse (18,355) or alcoholism plus problems with a secondary drug (10,619). Marijuana sent more than 8,000 to drug rehabs despite the claims of many people that the substance is not addictive. The amphetamine class, including methamphetamine, drives 7,165 people into drug recovery.
Narconon Offers an Improved Solution
But when this many people enter drug treatment and the problem does not go away, a better solution is needed. The Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program offers a better solution with its long-term, residential drug recovery program.
In forty centers around the country and 120 centers around the world, the Narconon program enables seven out of ten of its graduates to lead completely drug-free lives. Unlike other rehabilitation centers, the Narconon drug rehab focuses on getting a person off drugs without the use of any substitute medications. Only vitamins, minerals and other supplements plus hands-on assistance from Narconon staff help make withdrawal tolerable without the need for buprenorphine or any other medications.
After withdrawal is complete, each recovering person goes on to engage in counseling and life skills training that create a new drug-free way of living. As more Oregon citizens fully recover from the desire to use drugs, the more the Oregonians can return to the enjoyment of life in their beautiful state.
Narconon Drug Information Department