Oregonians use a wide variety of medications and drugs (including alcohol) to treat medical and psychiatric conditions and for recreation. Medicine and drug use is highly regulated by the federal government and states to protect people from harm.
Regulations require pharmaceutical companies to place warnings on packaging of over the counter and prescribed medicines and federal and state regulations control who can prescribe medicines which have shown a high risk for abuse.
Medical training institutions teach students to prescribe controlled substances and over the counter medicines safely. Schools of pharmacy teach pharmacists to dispense medicines safely. Pharmaceutical boards regulate the practice of dispensing medicines, Etc. Nevertheless, prescription drug abuse still persists in the state, with persons dying each day on account of it.
Since 1999, statistics show a dramatic increase in prescription controlled substance sales, illicit and prescribed drug use, misuse, dependency, and overdose due to drugs of all types in Oregon. New data from Oregon's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program show that prescribed opioid use is endemic among Oregonians.
In 2013, almost 1 in 4 Oregonians received a prescription for opioid medications. Households in every community have cabinets stacked with prescription drugs, many of which are unused, and they are potentially harmful if stored unsafely. Sadly, they are often stored unsafely, and are easily accessible to teenagers and adolescents who sometimes use them to the point of addiction.
Oregon providers wrote 66.1 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons in 2017, compared to the average U.S. rate of 58.7 prescriptions. This is the lowest rate in the state since 2006 when data became available (per the CDC).
While many drugs and medicines have potential for overdose, the use of both prescription opioids and heroin (often taken in combination with other medicines and drugs) has increased since 1999. With increased use of opioids, communities have seen increases in overdose hospitalizations and deaths, and need for treatment.
Data on the sales of legally prescribed medicines (opioids in particular) and data on overdose hospitalizations and deaths can be used to illustrate the progression of an epidemic of overdose hospitalizations and deaths in Oregon.
Between 2000 and 2012, 4,182 people died in Oregon due to unintentional and undetermined drug overdose (322 per year). Unintentional and undetermined drug overdose death rates appear to have peaked in 2007 at 11.4 per 100,000 and declined to 8.9 per 100,000 in 2012.
Nonetheless, the overdose death rate in 2012 remains 1.9 times higher than in 2000. Unintentional and undetermined prescription opioid deaths appear to have peaked in 2006 (6.5 per 100,000) and declined to 4.2 per 100,000 in 2012.
Nonetheless, deaths due to unintentional and undetermined prescription opioid overdose in 2012 remain 3 times higher than in 2000. In 2012, over 900,000 Oregonians (24%) received a prescription for an opioid.
Roughly five Oregonians die every week as a result of prescription opioid overdose, and many more develop opioid use disorder. Oregon has one of the highest rates of prescription opioid misuse in the nation.
In 2017, about 15,000 Oregon adolescents, aged 12 to 17, reported non-medical use of pain relievers in the past year (5.3 percent of Oregon adolescents). Drug overdoses have become the leading cause of injury death in Oregon, surpassing motor vehicle-related fatalities.
54 percent of all prescriptions in Oregon were for prescription opioids. In the past decade, there was an overall decline seen in the age-adjusted rate of overdose deaths involving opioid prescriptions. In 2017, there were 3.5 deaths per 100,000 persons.
In 2017, there were 344 overdose deaths involving opioids in Oregon — an age-adjusted rate of 8.1 deaths per 100,000 persons, compared to the national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000 persons.
Increases were seen in cases related to synthetic opioids other than methadone (mainly Fentanyl) or heroin. From 2015 to 2017, deaths involving Fentanyl climbed from 34 in 85 deaths and those involving heroin grew from 102 to 124.
Prescription opioid-involved overdose deaths declined in the same period from 30 to 14 deaths and from 198 to 154 deaths.
NAS or neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) may occur when a pregnant woman uses drugs such as opioids during pregnancy.In Oregon, quarterly rates of NAS/NOWS were reported in 2016. The rates ranged from 7.0 to 5.6 cases per 1,000 hospital births in the last quarter.
Of the new HIV cases in 2016, 221 occurred in Oregon. Among males, 14.9 percent of new HIV cases were attributed to opioid abuse or male-to-male contact and opioid abuse. Among females, 15.4 percent of new HIV cases were attributed to opioid abuse.
In 2015, an estimated 6,598 persons were living with a diagnosed HIV infection in Oregon — a rate of 193 cases per 100,000 persons. Of those, 18.3 percent of male cases were attributed to opioid abuse or male-to-male contact and opioid abuse. Among females, 26.9 percent were living with HIV attributed to opioid abuse.
There were approximately 19 new cases of acute HCV (0.5 per 100,000 persons) reported in Oregon in 2016 (CDC). In Oregon, there are an estimated 49,000 persons living with Hepatitis C (2013-2016 annual average), a rate of 1,570 cases per 100,000 persons. A large amount of these cases are attributable to opioid and prescription opioid abuse
Fortunately, there are multiple centers of treatment and rehab. There are many types of treatment centers such as long term addiction treatment facilities, short term drug abuse treatment, outpatient detoxification programs, outpatient substance abuse treatment services, inpatient drug abuse treatment and others.
There is a wide range of drug and alcohol rehab facilities available. They include individual psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy, couple/family therapy, trauma therapy, trauma-related counseling, cognitive/behavior therapy and others, to name a few. If you need rehab in Oregon, all you need to do is place a call to any of the available rehab centers.
If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, it is imperative that you look for professional help as soon as you possibly can. However, you might not know where to start or the options that are open to you. Similarly, you may have little to no idea about the differences between the different treatment facilities and the programs they have in store for their patients.
Do you need help finding the right drug or alcohol rehab facility in your area?
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