Oregon’s drug epidemic has taken a new turn.
It’s all too easy for dealers to turn to one of the same tactics that drove the opioid crisis: buying pills, using them to manufacture opioids and selling them on the street.
A new analysis by the Oregon Office of Drug Policy found that dealers have turned to the same methods in the past several years to target the state’s opioid crisis.
Opioid overdose deaths rose by 28 percent in the state in 2016, according to a new report from the Oregon Health Authority.
And while the opioid deaths have dropped in recent years, Oregon’s rate of deaths from overdoses rose by about 4,500 in the first three months of 2017.
The opioid crisis has also taken on a new dimension in the eyes of law enforcement and public health officials, who are scrambling to find solutions.
Officials are increasingly concerned that dealers are turning to other types of drugs, like methamphetamine and heroin, as well as new psychoactive substances like LSD and ecstasy.
“Drug trafficking is a huge problem in Oregon, and I think it’s an area that we are all very aware of,” said Michael Dauber, executive director of the Oregon Department of Justice, which is coordinating the efforts to crack down on opioid trafficking.
“Drug trafficking does not exist as an anomaly.
It has a history, and we are making it a priority to tackle it.”
What are the biggest challenges facing the state?
A drug crisis, said Dauberg, has its roots in the opioid epidemic, which has led to more people dying from overdose.
Drug abuse has become so prevalent, it is now a top killer of Oregon’s youth.
Drug dealers, meanwhile, are increasingly finding themselves caught between the law and the public.
“There is a lot of concern about drug use, but what we are seeing is that many drug users have a substance use disorder and that substance use disorders are also becoming a problem,” Daubers said.
“We need to address both of those things at the same time.
So, it’s really about getting the resources to the right place and helping the drug users to address their substance use.”
Drugs and other substances like marijuana and prescription drugs are being made available for sale on the black market in a new era of legal weed, said Eugene police Sgt. Ryan Smith, who oversees the drug unit.
It is also a growing problem that is often not dealt with by the public at large, Smith said.
“When it comes to the supply side, we’ve got a lot more supply out there,” he said.
And it is a situation that police are seeing more and more of.
There have been a total of 30 overdose deaths in the Oregon city of Eugene this year, compared to 24 in 2017.
That’s more than any other city in the country, according a report released Tuesday by the Drug Policy Alliance.
The spike in drug deaths has come at a time when the state is in the midst of a statewide heroin epidemic that has been ravaging communities across the country.
It took the state nearly two years to get all of the opioids off the streets, and Oregon has seen a record number of overdose deaths, especially among people under the age of 35, according the Oregon Commission on Drug Abuse.
The number of opiate overdose deaths has been steadily climbing since then, and in 2017, the state saw its highest rate of overdose death in at least 20 years.
And the opioid problem has been a major driver of the spike in heroin.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10 million Americans have used heroin in the last decade, and the number of heroin-related deaths increased by nearly 200 percent in just one year.
The new opioid crisis is driving people to turn toward other drugs and to seek the newest, and potentially deadly, types of pharmaceuticals.
“It’s a trend we’ve seen before,” said Dr. Joseph Haddad, a drug addiction expert and former president of the American College of Physicians.
“It’s not surprising that these drug markets are proliferating and that drug use has increased.
But this is not a new phenomenon.
This is not the first time this has happened.
Drug use is the number one drug use disorder in the United States.
So it’s not new to see people use drugs to try to control their addiction.”
But what is happening in Oregon has been happening nationwide.
A nationwide report released Monday found that the use of prescription painkillers was up 50 percent in 2016 and up 71 percent in 2017 in every state except for Nevada, where the rate was down 22 percent.
“I think we’re seeing an opioid epidemic and a heroin epidemic in the U.S.,” said Matthew Cope, a professor at the University of Virginia’s School of Public Health.
“This has nothing to do with the drugs.
This has to do the fact that the opioid markets have exploded.”
Dr. Cope added that there are other factors