The opioid crisis is a nationwide problem that has been steadily increasing in severity for the past few years. The effects of opioid addiction in Oregon are being felt acutely by community members. This article will explore the history of opioids in Oregon, discuss the effects of the current crisis on individuals and families, and provide information about where people can go for help.
The history of opioids.
Opioids are a drug that includes prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet, as well as illegal drugs like heroin. Opioids work by binding to receptors in the brain and spinal cord, which reduces the perception of pain. They can also produce feelings of pleasure and relaxation. Additionally, Opioids can be very addictive, and even people who take them as prescribed by a doctor can develop an addiction.
Oregon has a long history with opioids. In the early 1800s, opium was brought to Oregon by Chinese immigrants who were working on the transcontinental railroad. Opium dens began popping up in Portland and other cities, and opium became popular among both the Chinese community and non-Chinese residents. However, opium was not the only drug available at that time. Cocaine, morphine, and alcohol were also commonly used. this
The early 1900s saw an increase in drug use in Oregon. This was partly because drugs became more readily available, as they could be purchased through mail-order catalogs. In addition, the number of people using drugs increased during this time because of the introduction of new drugs, such as heroin. Heroin was first introduced to Oregon in 1910, and its use quickly spread. By 1915, there were an estimated 1,500 heroin addicts in the state.
The current Oregon opioid crisis began in the late 1990s when pharmaceutical companies began aggressively marketing painkillers to doctors. These painkillers were touted as being safe and effective for treating a wide variety of conditions. As a result, prescriptions for painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet skyrocketed.
The increase in prescriptions led to more people becoming addicted to opioids. And as people became addicted, they began turning to heroin because it was cheaper and easier to obtain than prescription drugs. The current crisis is often referred to as the “prescription painkiller epidemic” because the over-prescribing of these drugs fueled it.
The effects of the current Oregon opioid crisis on individuals and families.
- Overdose deaths.
The increase in overdose deaths has placed a strain on the state’s medical examiner’s office, which is responsible for investigating all sudden and unexpected deaths. Sometimes, families have had to wait months for their loved ones’ bodies to be released because of the backlog. This can delay the grieving process and make it difficult for families to move on.
- Increased crime rates.
As the number of people addicted to opioids has increased, so have the crime rates associated with drug use. Property crimes, such as burglary and theft, are often committed by addicts to get money to buy drugs. In addition, drug-related violent crimes, such as robbery and assault, are also on the rise. Additionally, the number of people in prison for drug-related offenses has increased, which has put a strain on the state’s corrections system.
- Child abuse and neglect.
Sadly, the opioid crisis has also led to an increase in child abuse and neglect. In many cases, parents addicted to opioids are unable or unwilling to care for their children. As a result, children are often left alone or in the care of other family members or friends. Additionally, some parents may resort to using their children as “mules” to transport drugs, which puts them at risk of arrest or injury. Lastly, the state has seen an increase in the number of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which is a condition that occurs when a newborn is exposed to drugs while in the womb.
- Strained relationships.
The opioid crisis has also strained relationships between spouses, partners, and families. Addiction can sometimes lead to financial problems, which can strain the relationship. Additionally, addiction can lead to lying and other forms of deception, which can damage trust. And in some cases, addiction can lead to physical or verbal abuse.
- Job loss.
The opioid crisis has also led to job loss for many people. In some cases, addicts may lose their jobs because of absences or poor performance. In other cases, employers may be reluctant to hire someone addicted to opioids because they risk stealing from the company or having an accident while on the job.
Where to get help.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to opioids, there is help available. Here are some resources that can assist:
–The Oregon Health Authority offers a list of treatment providers and information about how to access treatment. This website also includes a list of recovery resources.
–The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a 24-hour National Helpline that can connect individuals with treatment providers in their area.
–Narcotics Anonymous is an international organization that offers support groups for people who are struggling with addiction. There are many local chapters in Oregon, and meetings are held throughout the state.
–Alcoholics Anonymous is another international organization that offers support groups for people struggling with addiction. Like Narcotics Anonymous, there are many local chapters in Oregon, and meetings are held throughout the state. Alcoholics Anonymous is another twelve-step program that can be helpful for people struggling with addiction.
The current Oregon opioid crisis is devastating to communities across the United States. In Portland, Oregon, the crisis has had several adverse effects on the community, including increased overdose deaths, the strain on the state’s resources, and financial hardship for individuals and families. However, there is help available for those who are struggling with addiction. If you or someone you know needs assistance, please contact one of the resources listed above.