Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Portland
Portland and five other cities fall within Multnomah County, Oregon. However, Portland is home to roughly 82% of the county population. Portland’s position within the Interstate-5 corridor makes it easy for drug runners coming from both Mexico and Canada. This has turned it into a distribution hub for illicit drugs in the Northwest United States. The strong presence held by Mexican Cartels have caused opioids and methamphetamines to blow up across the state but focused in Portland.
Methamphetamines in Portland
While an opioid crisis is currently sweeping the United States, Portland is an outlier. Not because it hasn’t been touched by heroin or its people aren’t abusing prescription drugs, but because of the massive amount of methamphetamines, or meth, that is being used and traded. It accounted for half of the lab samples analyzed by forensics in Multnomah County in 2016. The second highest, heroin, is less than half that number at 24%. In 2015, the last reported year, 202 died from using meth. These aren’t necessarily tied to overdoses, most are just reactions the body has to the drug, such as a heart attack. A large contribution to these numbers are the homeless of Portland.
About three-quarters of the year in Portland is damp and cold. So, the homeless, who are struggling to stay warm at night, turn to meth. Whereas opioids slow the heart rate, meth speeds it up, providing energy to the transient population, (currently over 4,000 and growing every year), looking to keep moving with everything they own. Many even use it to stay awake through the night so they can sleep during the day, when it is warmer and safer.
While some may rationalize that this only affects the homeless, a drug that flows this freely can’t be contained to one demographic. A drug problem of this scale falls to everyone. Police seized over 100 kilograms more methamphetamines in 2015 than any recorded year prior.
Get Answers to Your Questions
Opioids in Portland
Like much of America, Portland is also dealing with an opioid problem. While this can be eclipsed by the mass of methamphetamines, that number is skewed from the large number of homeless who are using it as a means of survival.
Another misconception is the idea that the opioid problem is directly tied to heroin, but more issues arise from the abuse of prescription medications. In fact, there were just as many deaths from prescription painkillers as there was from meth in 2014, far greater than the number of deaths tied to heroin. Over 25% of law enforcement officials across the state of Oregon reported that painkillers were being illegally smuggled into their areas. With 45% of reported heroin users in Portland stating they started by abusing prescription medication, this opens the doors to more people in Portland, and across the state, getting addicted to opioids.
Get Help During COVID-19
With just 30 days at a rehab center, you can get clean and sober, start therapy, join a support group, and learn ways to manage your cravings.
Treatment in Portland
Recovery can be difficult in general, but when the addiction is part of your everyday survival it can be nearly impossible. Still, don’t count yourself out. As long as there are clinics out there, there are people to help.
You could find help in Portland but may find it beneficial to leave the city, or even the state, for rehabilitation, especially if things like the weather trigger your individual cravings. A change in climate, scenery, smells, and sounds can all help put yourself in a more positive mindset.
The most important thing is finding a place that is right for your own personal journey. If you don’t know where to go, and need help figuring it out, then reach out today. We have dedicated treatment providers waiting for your call.