Opioid Epidemic | Local News | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Pin It

Opioid Epidemic 

In light of rampant overdoses, an Oregon Senate bill aims to limit access to opiates in the state

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially declared an opioid epidemic in the United States—and Oregon is definitely not immune. In an attempt to fight the epidemic, the Oregon state senate will be voting on Senate Bill 270 on April 18—a bill introduced by the Committee on Health Care for Oregon Department of Justice.

The bill is aimed at limiting the number of pills a patient can receive on their initial prescription fill. The bill reads as follows: "prohibits issuing initial prescriptions for opiates to adults for outpatient use in quantity exceeding seven-day supply. The bill would also prohibit issuing initial and refill prescriptions for opiates to minors for outpatient use in quantity exceeding seven-day supply."

Sen. Tim Knopp, who serves on the Senate Committee on Health Care, feels the bill is necessary, he says, "because Oregon has an opiate overdose problem."

According to a study conducted by the Oregon Health Authority on Drug overdose deaths, hospitalizations, abuse and dependency among Oregonians, Knopp seems to be on track. The study stated that, "In 2012 Oregon had 164 unintentional and undetermined prescription opioid overdose deaths—three times higher than the rate in 2000." To make matters worse, the study states that "280 million pills are prescribed in Oregon annually. That is more than any other state in the nation and is the equivalent to 70 pills for every man, woman and child in Oregon per year." 

According to the CDC: "The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of 10) involve an opioid. Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) quadrupled. From 2000 to 2015 more than half a million people died from drug overdoses." The CDC also states, "that the most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths include: methadone, oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Dwight Holton, CEO of Lines For Life, a nonprofit dedicated to substance abuse and suicide prevention, said in an article in "OHSU News," "First we need to have less pills." Bill de Blasio, Governor of New York, likewise believes that an overabundance of pills is the problem, but in an article in "The Observer," he went a step further by saying the root of the overabundance is the drug makers. "The overuse of these drugs was planned by the pharmaceutical industry and the results have been devastating. And now this is a problem being felt in households all over this city and all over this country."

Still, bills such as Senate Bill 270 won't solve this problem alone. During an interview with Portland's KOIN 6, DEA Special Agent in Charge in Oregon, Cam B. Strahm stated that, "enforcement alone, treatment alone and prevention alone is not the solution. You have to put all three together." Holton stated that defeating this opioid crisis in Oregon will also take, "increased access to treatment, better disposal options for unused pills and stronger education." 

Oregon leaders, including Bend's Sen. Knopp, say they are "working in a bipartisan way to make sure we have legislation that works."

The bill comes up for a vote in the state Senate April 18—the last day that initial bills can be voted upon this session. If you have an opinion on the bill, email the members of the Senate Committee On Health Care. Interested parties can also visit the Oregon Legislative Information website to learn of scheduled events such as committee meetings or floor sessions.

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • My Marvelous Mentors

    My Marvelous Mentors

    Jim Anderson pens a farewell to readers
    • Aug 26, 2020
  • Santa Uncensored

    Santa Uncensored

    A retired mall Santa shares some of his most bizarre (and moving) experiences
    • Dec 18, 2019
Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
High Desert  Nights

High Desert Nights - Bunk+Brew Historic Lucas House

Fri., May 14, 6-9 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

  •   @sourceweekly on Instagram

Latest in Local News

  • Listen: Source Weekly Update 5/13 🎧

    • May 13, 2021
    A pending end to COVID risk levels in Oregon, changes for how Bend spends tourism money and a gun storage bill passes in the OR legislature More »
  • A Tale of Two Rentals

    • May 12, 2021
    Whether it's raised your rent or your home value, the housing crisis in Central Oregon is palpable. These stories tell the tale of renters struggling to find housing—and how one group of neighbors fought back against short-term rentals More »
  • "A Piece of the Puzzle"

    • May 12, 2021
    A Redmond hotel will soon become the city's first year-round shelter thanks to funding from Project Turnkey, the statewide initiative to convert hotel and motels into housing More »
  • More »

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2021 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation