Saturday, September 3, 2022

In Northwest, solutions bring new challenges

All this tells us is that suport is niggardly to date and that measuring anything is hopelessly premature.  What is true is that the state no longer crimanalizes personal use and abuse.  That allows a slow transition to framework in which criminals will no longer drive the industry.

This will be slow but then we can live with that and alternative solutions will have time to gain traction.

Having watched a defacto legalization of just Cannabis in BC. i do know that Governments are caught flatfooted by these changes and it takes plenty of time to do anything.  Just on cannibis, it is taking literally years to sort it all out.

So what is going to happen with all the rest?  Again years of debate and adjustment we may see progress.

Remember that heroin and opiods are literally the chemistry from Hell.  Those demand protection and intervention.  At the same time they are clearly been exploited by the CCP.

In Northwest, solutions bring new challenges

First in nation to decriminalize, Oregon slowly disburses treatment funds

Oregon voters in 2020 passed Ballot Measure 110, which decriminalized the possession of small amounts of drugs, including heroin, and directed millions of dollars in tax revenue from legal marijuana sales toward addiction treatment. According to a recent hearing, however, state officials underestimated the amount of work needed to assess the deluge of applications from treatment and service providers seeking funding. Meanwhile, overdoses have continued to rise. Rep. Lily Morgan of Grants Pass, Oregon, said in the hearing that her community has seen a 120% increase in fatal overdoses. Though the delay in funding disbursement has frustrated many, more than 16,000 Oregonians have accessed services thanks to funds from Measure 110, according to U.S. News & World Report and the Drug Policy Alliance.

Rewards for folks who stop using drugs

Addiction often mushrooms in places where economic opportunity has diminished. Thus it makes sense that compensating people for staying drug-free — for instance, with grocery gift cards — is an evidence-based means of supporting people in recovery. In Newport, Oregon, an outpatient clinic called Phoenix Wellness Center is on the forefront of deploying this strategy. “It’s about using people’s internal motivations and rewarding them for making these achievements or making steps towards progress and change,” the clinic’s co-owner Ashliegh Ramirez said in an interview with Oregon Public Broadcasting. She and her co-owners are members of the Siletz tribe; offering incentives is a normal tribal practice, which they are now offering to a broader population. The slow disbursal of funds from Measure 110 currently limits the pace at which this strategy can take effect, but it represents an experiment that is attracting attention from researchers who will study its efficacy in Oregon.

Unequal access to treatment for patients of color

Researchers at Washington State University have found that the average age of death from opioid overdose is lower for people of color relative to non-Hispanic whites; in other words, folks of color are dying younger. Meanwhile, addiction treatment is not equally accessible to all. During the pandemic, federal authorities adjusted requirements for physicians treating patients with opioid use disorder, allowing evaluations to take place via telemedicine rather than in person. This improved patient access to the life-saving medicine buprenorphine. Methadone, another common and evidence-based treatment for opioid addiction, is more heavily stigmatized and monitored than buprenorphine — and patients of color are more likely to receive methadone rather than buprenorphine, as compared to their white peers, according to researchers at the University of Washington.

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