Oregon Drug Use Trends
Oregon is home to 3,970,239 residents (2014 est.) and has a diverse landscape with coastlines, mountain ranges, forests and a high desert. Federal and state regulations control the use of medicine and drugs in Oregon by establishing penalties to control and punish infractions of the law. Medical and pharmacy staff is trained on how to safely prescribe controlled substance and dispense medications. However, with these preventative measures in place Oregon residents continue to have problems with the misuse, abuse, addiction and overdose of alcohol, prescription medications and illegal drugs.
While the country is in the midst of a prescription drug addiction epidemic, Oregon is experiencing a similar problem. Over a decade of statistics show a dramatic rise in the number of controlled prescription medication sales as well as the number of prescribed and illicit drug use, misuse, addiction, and overdose cases. Prescription opioid use has risen over the past several years, and in 2013 almost one in four residents obtained a prescription for opioid medications. This increase in prescription opioids is extremely dangerous because potentially harmful medications are kept unsafely in many of these households throughout the state.
Statistics on Oregon drug trends show that prescription opioids are often taken in combination with heroin or other substances. The combination of prescription opioids with other substances such as heroin increases the user's chances of overdose and potentially death. In recent years, Oregon has seen an increase in the number of hospitalizations and deaths caused by prescription opioids and heroin.
- The drug overdose death rate in Oregon lieeked in 2007 at 11.4 lier 100,000 residents. It has since declined to 8.9 lier 100,000 residents in 2012. Even so, Oregon's overdose death rate is still four times higher in 2012 than it was in 2000.
- An estimated 24% (900,000 residents) of Oregon residents were lirescribed an oliioid medication during 2012.
- Oregonians ages 45-54 have the highest death rate due to unintentional and undetermined drug overdoses followed by residents aged 35-44 and 25-34.
The need for effective treatment remains and several medical detox facilities and drug rehab programs have been created to treat residents. There are an estimated eight medical detox facilities in Oregon, twenty detox centers for alcohol and drug addiction, twenty short-term drug rehab programs, thirty long-term drug rehab programs, over one hundred outpatient alcohol and drug rehab programs, and ten halfway houses/sober living facilities.
Detoxification Services in Oregon
Withdrawal symptoms and cravings make quitting alcohol and drug use difficult. Many individuals are physically addicted to a substance and require detoxification services to safely withdrawal. Without the assistance of skilled detox staff the addicted individual may suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms ranging from seizures, physiologic manifestations, sleep deprivation, and in rare cases death. Oregon drug and alcohol detox centers help recovering individuals safely and as comfortably as possible get through this phase of their recovery process. The purpose of a detox center is to medically stabilize the individual as well as help them to eliminate the toxins left in their system from substance abuse. When these toxins remain in the body they can cause cravings and make the long journey of recovery more difficult with an increased chance of relapse. Most Oregon drug rehab programs will have their clients complete a detox program prior to enrolling in their rehabilitation center or include detox services in their program. This ensures the individual is ready to begin the process of addressing their emotional and physiological addiction issues and that the physical problems of their addiction have been resolved.
Long-Term Inpatient and Residential Drug Rehab Programs in Oregon
Among the drug rehab community, long-term inpatient and residential drug rehab programs are considered the gold standard in effective treatment. These programs are the most effective at treating and rehabilitating their clients for several reasons: the length of treatment (usually 90 days or longer) allows for time to physically withdrawal from the substance, these programs provide around the clock services, the program participant resides in the rehab center making substance use more difficult during recovery, they are a safe substance-free environment during rehabilitation, the recovering individual develops a comradery with the other program participants working on their shared goal of sobriety, and lastly the individual receives counseling, life skills and aftercare support.
Outpatient Drug Rehab in Oregon
Outpatient drug rehab programs provide classes, visits with specialists and individual/group counseling sessions. These types of programs use a variety of different techniques and vary in their intensity levels. While not intended for individuals with severe addiction problems, they are ideal for those who have a strong support system at home and who are able to regulate their substance use. Outpatient drug rehab programs are a good fit for those who are occasional drug abusers, residents who are enrolled in a sober living program and are looking for additional support as they begin working their way back into society, as well as individuals who have tried group meetings such as AA or NA and still struggle with substance abuse.
Halfway Houses and Sober Living Programs in Oregon
Halfway houses and sober living programs provide a safe substance-free environment for individuals who have completed drug rehab. They are a place where recovering individuals can live among other similar minded sober residents while being supported in their recovery process. They provide a stepping stone back into living a "normal" drug-free lifestyle while restoring the areas of their life that have deteriorated during their active addiction. While the individual is living at a halfway house or sober living program they can locate and maintain a job, attend group meetings like AA or NA, enroll in outpatient drug rehab and rebuild relationships with their family and friends.
Population in Oregon:3,641,056
State Prison Population in Oregon:13,183
Probation Population in Oregon:44,435
Violent Crime Rate in Oregon:
2007 Federal Drug Seizures in Oregon:
Cocaine seizures in Oregon:28.9 kgs.
Heroin seizures in Oregon:8.6 kgs.
Methamphetamine seizures in Oregon:15.0 kgs.
Marijuana seizures in Oregon:875.2 kgs.
Hashish seizures in Oregon:0.1 kgs.
MDMA seizures in Oregon:0.0 kgs./49,222 du
Meth Lab Incidents in Oregon:20
(DEA, Oregon, and local city Law Enforcement)
Drug Situation in Oregon:
- Mexican drug trafficking organizations dominate the illegal drug market in Oregon.
- Oregon acts as a transshipment point for controlled substances smuggled from Mexico to Washington and Canada.
- Recent statistics show that Oregon is also becoming a transshipment point for controlled substances smuggled from Mexico to various states east of Oregon, such as Montana, Minnesota, Illinois, and New York.
- Marijuana and MDMA (also known as Ecstasy) from Canada also transit Oregon en route to other U.S. locations.
- Methamphetamine is a significant drug threat in Oregon, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and club drugs are of concern.
- In 2007, drug prices in Oregon for methamphetamine and cocaine doubled due to law enforcement operations in the United States and Mexico that slowed the supply of these drugs.
- Drug trafficking organizations in Oregon are also involved in money laundering, using a variety of methods to legitimize and reposition illicit proceeds.
- Cocaine is readily available throughout Oregon.
- Crack cocaine is found in some urban areas, while the powder form is most prevalent in Oregon.
- Mexican traffickers dominate wholesale distribution of cocaine, transporting the drug from Mexico, California, and other southwestern states.
- Retail amounts of cocaine are sold mainly by Mexican drug trafficking organizations, street gangs, prison gangs, and local independent dealers.
- The most common type of heroin encountered in Oregon is Mexican black tar heroin.
- Mexican drug trafficking organizations control the majority of the transportation and distribution of Mexican black tar and brown powdered heroin into and throughout Oregon with Mexican street gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs involved to a lesser degree.
- Black tar heroin is produced in Mexico and transported from the Southwest Border states directly to Oregon.
Oregon legislators enacted several laws directed at reducing methamphetamine availability and local production. In July 2006, products containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, precursor chemicals used in methamphetamine manufacturing, became Schedule III controlled substances, available only by prescription.
Recently, legislation in Oregon restricted sales of pseudoephedrine by limiting sales to licensed pharmacies.
Pharmacies in Oregon are required to maintain a log of purchase transactions and keep products behind a pharmacy counter.
Clandestine laboratory seizures have been on a decline in Oregon, and the local drug market has been increasingly supplied with methamphetamine from other southwestern states and Mexico.
Mexican drug trafficking organizations dominate the methamphetamine supply in the Pacific Northwest.
There were 20 meth lab incidents in Oregon in 2007.
- Methamphetamine abuse, trafficking, and manufacturing are a problem in Oregon.
- Methamphetamine is one of the most widely abused controlled substances in Oregon and availability is high.
- Previously, powder methamphetamine was most common in Oregon; Recent seizures show a switch to the more addictive and potent form of meth referred to as "ice" or "crystal."
- MDMA (ecstasy), GHB, Ketamine, and LSD are available in varying quantities in Oregon and are abused mainly at social venues in more populated areas and on college campuses.
- Club drugs enter Oregon from a variety of sources: MDMA from Canada, Ketamine from Mexico, and GHB and LSD from California.
- Laboratory seizures in Oregon indicate that there is some local GHB and LSD production.
- GHB in Oregon is also obtained from Internet sources.
- PCP and Psilocybin mushrooms are normally available on and around cities with a college student population in Oregon.
- Marijuana, the most abused illegal drug in Oregon, is easily available.
- Marijuana abuse, cultivation, and trafficking are a significant threat in Oregon.
- Medical marijuana initiatives in Oregon have created additional challenges as local producers use these laws to conceal their illegal activity.
- Caucasian, Asian, and Mexican drug trafficking organizations are involved in the transportation and distribution of marijuana in Oregon.
- Canada and Mexico are source countries for marijuana in Oregon.
- Large quantities of marijuana are also locally produced in Oregon.
- Cultivations of marijuana in Oregon range from simple dirt grows to complex hydroponics operations, controlled by Caucasian, Asian, and Mexican drug trafficking organizations.
- Large indoor and outdoor growing operations of marijuana in Oregon have been discovered on private, state, and forest lands, with plants numbering in the thousands.
- In the last several years, large outdoor grows operated by Mexican drug trafficking organizations have become more prevalent in Oregon. These organizations are actively growing cannabis in remote areas of Oregon, growing thousands of plants yearly.
- High potency marijuana from Oregon is distributed locally and to other parts of the United States.
- The primary methods of diversion of legitimate pharmaceuticals in Oregon are illegal dispensing and prescribing by physicians, illegal distribution by pharmacists, prescription forgery, doctor shopping, and drug thefts from pharmacies, nursing homes, and hospitals.
- Pharmacy burglaries are occur throughout Oregon and Diversion Investigators are also coming across pharmaceuticals that have been purchased via the Internet without a doctor's prescription.
- The abuse and trafficking of oxycodone (OxyContin?, Percocet, Percodan), hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab), and anabolic steroids continues to be a problem, while Methadone use has increased significantly in Oregon.
- In 1995 a program was created known as the DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams, or "MET". This was in response to the overwhelming problem of drugs and drug-related crimes across the nation. The Seattle MET has assisted law enforcement agencies in the following Oregon cities and counties: Woodburn, Madras, Klamath Falls, Keiser, Washington, and Portland.
- There were 259 drug violation arrests in Oregon in 2007.