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Oregon Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

Oregon's Meth Law Worked

Rehabs in OR

The state is famous for its outdoor activities; fantastic skiing, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, hiking, camping, fishing and more. Eugene has been rated as one of the top 10 bicycling communities in the country. Unfortunately, Oregon also leads the nation in the use of illicit drugs (besides marijuana) among 12 to 17 year-olds, the use of painkillers among young adults ages 18 to 25 and drug use in general among people older than 26. The national average for narcotic use is 8 percent. Oregon's is way above that at 12 percent, while drug-induced deaths also exceed the nation's average.

Methamphetamine was largely responsible for the state's high rates of abuse, so lawmakers took a bold measure to put a stop to people locally making it. A state law makes pseudoephedrine, a main ingredient in the production of meth, a prescription despite the fact that pharmaceutical lobbyists argued against this law. Lobbyists tried to argue that an existing law which required people to ask the pharmacist and sign for medicine that contains the decongestant was sufficient - but it was not.

Senator Ginny Burdick of Portland put the existing law to the test and found that she could easily drive from one pharmacy to the next and get as much medicine that contained pseudoephedrine as she liked. In one hour she gathered enough of the substance to make 200 hits of methamphetamine. After the law passed that required a prescription to purchase pseudoephedrine, local meth labs have practically disappeared. This benefits the state because meth labs are obviously hazardous since they often explode, causing harm to people and destruction to nearby property. They also leave toxic waste as part of the production process. There is still a meth problem as it is now simply smuggled in from Mexico and other states, but it is not as prevalent as before the law was passed.

Heroin Replaces Meth in Oregon

Heroin has replaced meth as the substance of choice by Oregonians. In 2009, it was responsible for more deaths than meth and cocaine combined. Heroin also killed more people in the state than drunk drivers in that year. Heroin deaths are not pretty. Addicts are found dead in their homes, public restrooms, streets, sidewalks and fields lying flat on their face with a tar-like substance and a syringe nearby.

It is easy for people to get heroin. It comes in directly from Mexico via Interstate 5. It is also cheap to buy, sometimes as little as $5 for a hit. Just a little bit gets people high; thus the appeal, but also why it is so easy to overdose on as well.

Many people who die from heroin do so just days after being released from jail or low quality short-term recovery programs. This is caused by the individual being held for only a few weeks. Being off narcotics during that time but not receiving proper substance abuse treatment causes them to quickly relapse once they are released back into their old environment. From being clean and sober for that period of time, their body's tolerance is lowered and an overdose occurs due to a shock to the system. Successful heroin treatment requires a much longer period of time than a few weeks to permanently overcome a dependency.

Close relatives of heroin are prescription opiate painkillers and there is a link between heroin and opiate abuse. People who start using painkillers like Oxycontin or oxycodone often become addicted and switch to heroin. Many people are more likely to begin with prescription medications because they believe that since they are prescribed by a doctor, they are harmless. However painkillers are just as addictive as heroin and often lead to heroin abuse due to being substantially cheaper.

Disadvantages of Short-Term Treatment

Not All Treatment Programs Are Equal

There are many rehab facilities for people who are dependent to drugs or alcohol. Besides methamphetamine and heroin, treatment centers help people for types of substance abuse, including marijuana, cocaine, prescription opiates and club drugs. There is quite a mix between short-term and long-term rehabilitation programs throughout the area. A standard short-term rehab program in Oregon lasts approximately 28 days and is the easiest and most attractive-sounding recovery method; though research shows that short-term programs are not effective in helping most people successfully end an addiction. They are best suited for individuals who have no other options due to cost or time restraints or those who have a mild or newly formed addiction and are still functioning fairly well in society.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that programs that last fewer than 90 days have limited or no effectiveness. When a person fails in a short-term program, the expectation is that they will keep repeating the program until it works. But unless the individual learns why they continue to turn to drugs or alcohol and learn alternate ways of coping, it is unlikely that progress will ever be made. Addiction is a chronic and complex problem that cannot be treated effectively in a few weeks or on a part-time schedule. Most addictions require a long-term inpatient treatment program to create the desired result of becoming drug or alcohol-free.

Because a dependency has many dimensions, effective treatment is not quick and simple. Short-term treatment cannot encompass all the areas necessary to address all particular aspects of an addiction. The best treatment protocols focus on restoring health back to the mind and body with programs that target each area. Helping the individual stop the substance abuse and understand how to remain drug-free is the only way one ensures they can become a fully functioning family member, worker and member of the community again.

Let Us Help You

Counselors are on call at any hour of the day or night, 365 days of the year, waiting to help. Talk with a counselor who can help guide you to Oregon drug rehabs that can help you become permanently drug or alcohol free.

For more information on Oregon rehab programs
Call 1-800-844-9706

We understand that you have begun the often scary and intimidating process of getting help for an addiction. Too often addictions go untreated and end with the person going to jail or worse - dying. You are changing all of that by choosing to get professional help and stepping onto the road to recovery.

Helpful Resources and Links for the State

In-State Long-Term Recovery Centers

  • Addictions Recovery Center
    Medford /
  • Astoria Pointe
    Astoria /
  • Serenity Lane
    Eugene /
  • Transformations Wellness Center
    Klamath Falls /

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