Substance Abuse Trends in Eugene, Oregon
Eugene, Oregon, about 50 miles east of the coastline, is the state’s second-most populated city (after Portland). Within Lane County, the city is home to approximately 156,185 residents. The Emerald City–also nicknamed “Track Town, U.S.A.” –is similarly home to thousands of students at the University of Oregon, Northwest Christian University, and Lane Community College. Subsequently, heavy drinking and alcohol abuse are major concerns for the area. When responding to a county-wide survey, nearly 60% listed alcohol and drug abuse as having the biggest impact on their community’s health.
As part of a community health assessment, surveys revealed that Lane County’s binge drinking rate is higher than the state average (19.3% and 17.7% respectively). Moreover, in 2013, 27.2% of 11th graders reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Binge drinking and underage drinking not only put individuals at greater risk for developing an alcohol addiction, but are associated with unintentional injuries, sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy, and alcohol poisoning.
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Illicit Drug Abuse in the Eugene-Springfield Area
Though the Opioid Epidemic largely began in the eastern half of the U.S., Eugene has nonetheless suffered increased rates of illicit drug abuse in recent years. From 2012 to 2016, Lane County lost an average of one resident per week to drug overdose. In a recent survey, 35% of residents said they had witnessed an overdose in the past year.
Additionally, meth remains a primary drug problem in the area. The state reported 141 meth-related deaths in 2016, a sharp increase from 51 deaths in 2012.
The rate of overdoses requiring hospitalization, as well as those resulting in death, have increased fivefold in the past decade. In 2015, the county received a “high burden” designation and started to receive federal funds to combat overdoses and hospitalizations.
Substance Abuse Statistics
Between 2010 and 2014, Lane County residents died of Opioid-related overdose at a rate of 8.3 per 100,000 people.
In 2012, 9.8% of Lane County adults between 18 and 25 years-old reported past month use of illicit drugs.
Among county 8th graders, 15.5% self-reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days.
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Addiction Treatment in Eugene
For people struggling with an addiction in Eugene, making the decision to detox from substances is the first, best step in recovery. Because state authorities are on the leading edge of recognizing the consequences of addiction on society, there are a variety of addiction treatment resources in the state. For instance, Lane County Behavioral Health Services provides treatment for children, families, and adults.
The county also provides methadone treatment to those who in need of addiction treatment medication. The Lane County Methadone Treatment Program gives outpatient chemical dependency treatment to patients, along with:
- Drug screens
- Crisis intervention
- Drug education
- HIV education and risk assessment
- Referral to support groups
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