State legislators will spend much of the next month debating whether to scrap Measure 110, Oregon's voter-approved effort at drug decriminalization. Their decision will directly impact the first responders who deal with drug addiction on the streets of Portland. But has decriminalization caused the spike in overdoses and public use, or has it simply made the crisis impossible to ignore?
The mobile medication pilot program will also connect people to longer-term recovery and treatment services. It’s a novel approach public safety leaders hope will help save lives amid a flood of illicit fentanyl, the latest phase of an opiate epidemic that’s surged across the country.
The new law takes effect in January. Hospitals, detox facilities and clinics that treat opioid use disorders will need to supply patients with at least two doses of Narcan or an equivalent drug upon release.
With a little bit of preparation, anybody can save a life. That’s the message of addiction medicine nurses from Oregon Health & Science University, who are encouraging people to carry a drug that can reverse an overdose.