State of Emergency Declared in Oregon

( – The rampant illegal use of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl in Oregon has driven officials to declare a state of emergency in Portland’s downtown area, where illegal use of the drug is the most rampant.

The state of emergency will last for 90 days. The Multnomah County and the city of Portland also declared a state of emergency in-step with state officials.

Governor Tina Kotek said that state, county, and city agencies will be working together to address the crisis, focusing on treatment and rehabilitation for those who need it while also cracking down hard on sales of the highly addictive drug. The joint state of emergency will help state, county, and city to better organize initiatives to fight fentanyl addiction and sales, such as the establishment of a dedicated command center to coordinate operations, as well as develop campaigns to spread awareness of the dangers of Fentanyl – along with resources to help addicts and their families get more access to much-needed rehabilitation and care.

In her announcement regarding the state of emergency, Governor Kotek said that the state has been “grappling with how to respond” to a drug that is unprecedented in its addictiveness and deadliness. Besides the cost to human life and health, the governor also said that Oregon is suffering from “economic and reputational harm” due to the state’s association with high rates of fentanyl use and death.

Fentanyl is a deadly but highly addictive drug, so many continue to take it despite the risks associated with it. In comparison, Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and around 100 times stronger than morphine. The drug, which also goes by several street names such as “Friend”, “Dance Fever”, “Goodfellas”, “Apace”, “Jackpot”, “Tango and Cash”, and others, can also be taken in a variety of ways aside from the typical pill form, according to information from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Taking the drugs – considered a “downer” – induces effects such as euphoria, pain relief, and relaxation. Fentanyl consumption has become so bad in Oregon that Multnomah County reported that the number of deaths caused by Fentanyl ballooned by a whopping 533% from 2018 to 2022.

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