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    The TRUTH Behind Oregon’s Fentanyl State of Emergency

    On January 30th, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson, and Governor Tina Kotek declared a state of emergency in a last-ditch effort to address the state’s deadly fentanyl crisis which has already claimed thousands of lives. Falling one day shy of Measure 110’s third anniversary, this declaration is a damning indictment of Oregon’s controversial drug policies which have directly contributed to this catastrophe.

    The “central city” of Portland is the focal point of the initiative, but this hyper-focus isn’t explained away by population density. Per-capita rates of addiction and drug-related fatalities are lower in surrounding counties such as Clackamas. Once again, the issue is policies, not geography.

    Alarmingly, the details of this state of emergency expose the leadership’s unflinching commitment to the catastrophic policies that exacerbated this problem in the first place. In the official Emergency Declaration, Mayor Ted Wheeler offers a point-by-point analysis of the city’s doubling down on its misguided and increasingly deadly strategies.

    By the city’s own admission, overdoes fatalities have jumped by an unfathomable 533% between 2018 and 2022. Measure 110’s sweeping decriminalization scheme, which was hatched in 2021, has failed to a devastating degree to curb drug use, addiction, and death. In fact, there are plenty of reasons to believe this experiment has made the situation far worse.

    According to the CDC, fentanyl is most commonly found in cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and pills that resemble prescription opioids. All of these vehicles for fentanyl were completely decriminalized with Measure 110, leaving no protective barrier between those suffering from substance abuse and this veritable poison.

    The emergency declaration touts the importance of “behavioral health and recovery services” in addressing fentanyl addiction, unwittingly highlighting the city’s consistent failure to provide meaningful drug treatment programs. Despite this being a central focus of Measure 110, Oregon still has the lowest number of hospital beds per 1,000 residents in the entire country.

    A look at the rhetoric surrounding this state of emergency reveals the government’s steadfast support of progressive policies instead of life-saving solutions. Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson blamed substance abuse on “inequity” while Health Department Director Rachael Banks faulted “colonialism” and “oppression”.

    As critics rightfully point out, the government hasn’t defined any goals or metrics along with their prognosis. This convenient omission prevents any allegations of failure since the drafters haven’t declared what success looks like.

    Even a cursory glance at the details reveals this state of emergency for what it really is – a regurgitation of well-worn talking points, a redoubling of efforts to “failed strategies”, and a dereliction of the government’s duty to protect the most vulnerable members of the community.

    So long as Portland enables prolific drug use, removes personal accountability, refuses to prosecute violent crime, and ignores the root causes of drug addiction, the fentanyl crisis is only going to get worse. This is precisely why the Clackamas County Commission decided to reject Portland Creep in favor of results-oriented, effective, and sane policies.

    Clackamas County has successfully reduced drug addiction and overdose fatalities without eroding civil rights through a state of emergency. Maybe it’s time Portland takes a page out of our playbook instead of cramming its failed policies down the throats of neighboring counties.

    One thought on “The TRUTH Behind Oregon’s Fentanyl State of Emergency

    1. caccdfbcbeddfcc?s=&#;d=mm&#;r=g MARY WHITNEY says:

      My best friend’s daughter died from a Fentanyl overdose in Feb 2024. She lived in Happy Valley.
      She had a troubled past and was using heroin for many years prior to her overdose.
      Her second child was two months old when she died.
      Luckily, her daughter wasn’t in her care that afternoon.
      Measure 110 made street drugs readily available without consequences.
      Oregon can do better.

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