What is the Drug Situation in Oregon?
Where for so long heroin posed the biggest threat on the Beaver State of Oregon, Methamphetamine use and trafficking have increased exponentially and has taken over opiates as the drug issue of main concern. According to a report that was recently released by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, after meth, the Oregon’s biggest drug threats are heroin, marijuana, prescription drugs, cocaine, and synthetic “designer” drugs respectively. Meanwhile, heroin production in Mexico is expanding and the legal medical marijuana grow-ops continues to be exploited to supply black market sales.
Quick Facts on Substance Abuse Issues in Oregon
- The number of meth lab raids has done down in recent years since Oregon lawmakers made it harder to obtain things like pseudophedrine, which is used to make meth. Meth remains an issue of concern because it’s still relatively easy for Mexican drug traffickers to smuggle meth powder into the state.
- Meth-related arrests have increased to almost double from 2009-2015. Meth and cocaine continue to be sources of drug-related crime in the Oregon.
- The Portland metro area serves as the perfect distribution hub for heroin and other opiates, with sales occuring in restaurants and nightclubs.
- Reports from police imply that the number of heroin distribution groups has increased thanks in part to distributors of other drugs like meth and cocaine taking an interest in the heroin business. They lure new customers with “good deals” like discounts and free samples.
- Marijuana continues to be the most pervasive drug in Oregon, especially due to it’s availability and the open exploitation of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program.
- In November 2014, Oregon voters passed Measure 91, which legalized marijuana for recreational use. The affects of Measure 91 are unknown but it has been estimated that it will increase use across the state.
- Those experimenting with drugs are getting younger in age with one in five people ages 12 and older citing that their drug use started with their abuse of prescription drugs.
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