Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Salem, Oregon
Located south of the more populated Portland, Salem, Oregon has been used as a home to several drug trafficking organizations (DTOs). This makes popular drugs, specifically heroin and methamphetamines, easy to come by. This creates a danger to anyone in the city who is recovering from addiction and trying to keep clean.
Right along Interstate 5, Mexican cartels transport large amounts of heroin and methamphetamines to the Northwest. A majority will head to Portland, the distribution hub for the Northwest, but Salem will also see its fair share of distribution. In Salem, there are more drug-related arrests than for any other crime except larceny, vandalism, and trespassing.
Methamphetamines in Salem
Methamphetamines, or Meth, are perhaps the largest market in Salem. Primarily coming from Mexican cartels, law enforcement agencies suspect that 60% of Meth sales go to funding other criminal activity. The increase of meth sales, and the push to get more people hooked, is what allows DTOs to expand in Salem and throughout Oregon. Because of the threat that DTOs place on Salem’s community, Oregon has annually recognized meth as its largest drug-related threat.
Despite this, deaths involving drugs fell greatly from 2009 to 2013, the last recorded year. This could be because the number of methamphetamines Salem law enforcement have seized has climbed in recent years. In 2016, Police retrieved 150 lbs. across Marion County, which holds over a dozen small cities along with Salem. More than half of it came from a single bust that took place in Salem.
Drug Trafficking in Salem
Within Salem, there have been several identified major DTOs. However, these have all been reported to be distributing either nationally or internationally. None have been shown to be primarily dealing within the state, perhaps because larger organizations have already built routes between cities. Still, the use of illicit drugs is still rampant in the city.
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Recent Addiction Trends in Salem
Despite the regular decline in drug mortality rates, which is best chalked up to the efforts of the city, there are still many in Salem who are going without the necessary care for their addiction. Even though the city, and Oregon as a whole, has plenty of recovery programs, including inpatient clinics, 12-step programs, and SMART recovery, there doesn’t appear to be a large push towards recovery. In 2009, the Federal Government estimated that 96,000 Oregonians did not receive treatment for drug addiction and 237,000 did not receive treatment for an alcohol use disorder.
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Seeking Treatment in Salem
When looking at different treatment centers, you may not know what to look for. There are so many options out there now to get clean, which is good but can be overwhelming. You may be looking at a local center near your house or the next town over. This can be ideal if you are wanting to maintain your life and keep your current job. However, it could be easy to fall to temptation. Surrounded by your old life, knowing where to go to procure drugs, and living through the damp weather every day, could make it too hard to move on with such a major change. You may want to look for a change in scenery. A new environment, with a different climate, can help reinforce the positive change you are trying to make in your life. This can be a powerful tool in recovery and help make the rehabilitation stick.
If you’re not sure what is right for you, and need help finding your next steps, then try reaching out to a treatment provider. They are dedicated to helping people, who are struggling with recovery, figuring out their next steps.