Oregon ranked sixth out of all states in rates of illicit drug use in 2013 and 2014, according to federal statistics.
A total of 287 people died from drug-related deaths in Oregon in 2015, which was an increase from 2014. Several drugs have contributed to that trend. Heroin overdose deaths remain a cause for concern, and deaths related to meth use are on the rise. Oregon also ranked fourth in the United States in nonmedical prescription opiate use. It had led all states in rates of prescription drug misuse in 2012.
People in Oregon also use legal substances frequently. Alcohol-related deaths increased between 2001 and 2014, and Oregon has a higher rate of DUI fatalities than the United States as a whole. Rates of marijuana use in Oregon were already high before the state voted to legalize recreational use of the drug in 2014.
About 18 percent of the state’s residents believe that marijuana use is risky, according to a 24/7 Wall St. report.
Oregon has become a major conduit for interstate drug traffickers. Mexican organized crime groups are the primary suppliers of drugs to the state, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Most of the Northwest’s drug supply passes through Oregon, particularly on Interstate 5. The DEA has designated the freeway as one of the eight major drug trafficking corridors in the United States.
Mexican organized crime groups are the primary suppliers of drugs to the state, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Drugs are driven up I-5 from the U.S.-Mexico border. When they arrive in Oregon, some drugs are sent to towns across the state. Other drugs are repackaged or redirected to central Washington, Idaho and Montana.
Some drug traffickers avoid patrols and traffic stops on I-5 and use alternate routes such as U.S. 97 to avoid detection and arrest. They’ve also dispersed their operations to prevent disruption in their supply.
Other drug shipment methods include Portland’s airport and Oregon’s freight railways. Drug shipments from Asia have been routed through Oregon. In 2015, federal agents prosecuted drug traffickers who allegedly shipped fentanyl and other synthetic drugs into Oregon.
Oregon has a major challenge on its hands. The state must find a way to help the people who have developed substance use disorders. The Beaver State is known for kindness and open-mindedness , and those qualities will be essential for the state’s communities to turn the tide against drug trafficking and addiction.
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