In February of 2018, the city of Portland was authorized to launch a lawsuit against opioid makers who they are holding responsible for the many deaths of Portlandians due to opioid addiction. Portland Mercury reports on the resolution being brought to the Portland City Council in February. The resolution gave authority to the City Attorney’s office to join in a country-wide fight against drug makers. Oregon’s own Multnomah County is also joining in the fight. Portland’s stance is that drugmakers have been irresponsible in their business practices and that lack of responsibility has directly contributed to the opioid epidemic overtaking the country, as well as the state of Oregon. For Portland, the author explains, the opioid crisis “…has ratcheted up costs for firefighters who distribute overdose-fighting drugs, has contributed to Portland’s housing and homelessness problem, and has cost the city money in treating opioid addictions for those covered by its health insurance, among other things.
Opioids Not Portland’s Biggest Problem
Opioids have been less of a problem for Portlandians than Crystal Meth has been, the article points out. The New York Times recently detailed the growing methamphetamine problem in Portland in detail in their article “Meth, the Forgotten Killer, Is Back. And It’s Everywhere.” Citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the article emphasizes the severity of meth’s return as a problem. From 2005 to 2015 the number of deaths caused by stimulant drug use, especially meth, increased 255%.
Meth On The Rise
- According to the article, the US Border is seizing 10-20 times the amount of meth they did more than a decade ago.
- Officials say that manufacturers have nearly “perfected” meth, making it almost 100% pure and cheaper than it ever has been.
- Congress passed the Combat Methamphetamine Act in 2005 which made it difficult to access drug store ingredients which contribute to the formal for meth.
- The wholesale cost of meth per pound has gone down while the purity has gone up.
- Police in Portland are seeing more meth related addiction and crime. They are seeing crack addicts turn to methamphetamine.
- 232 people died from meth use in 2016 in Oregon, twice as many who died from heroin.
- The only drug arrests in Portland to increase between the years of 2011 and 2015 were meth arrests.
- Meth has the highest correlation with serious crimes in Portland: at least 1 in 5 burglaries and 40% of car theft charges included meth charges as well.
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