The Pacific Northwest offers an unusual and beautiful variety of forests and moutains as well as many advanced metropolitan areas that generally have a higher quality of life and public services than their Eastern counterparts. This is especially the case in the Wilmavette Valley, the fabled final destination on the Oregon Trail of pioneer days. Today the valley is home to Oregon's largest cities including Salem, Portland, Eugene, and Oregon City. Portland in particular is known as a major cultural center with a low crime rate and many tourist attractions. Portland is also considered the national capital for microbrewery.
Not all is great in Oregon, however, as the Pacific Northwest does have a history with several kinds of drug problems. Alcoholism is a disproportionate problem in most Northern states, largely attributed to the cold weather and its propensity for causing poor mental health in those that are stuck indoors for many months out of the year. The phenomenon of poor mental health and substance abuse caused as a result of inhospitable climates has been consistently found worldwide, especially in Canada and Russia.
Northwest metropolitan areas also have an unusual problem with heroin and methamphetamine abuse, despite the fact that overall poverty and drug gang activity in these areas are much lower than cities that usually are associated with these problems such as Chicago or New York. Meth is abused at a rate twice that of many other states, supplied both by drug traffickers and through home-made methods.
Oregon's relatively progressive prevailing attitudes towards drugs has its benefits as well as draw-backs. The state has legalized medical marijuana and surprisingly still has lower rates of abuse of marijuana that most other states. The laws against possession and distribution of drugs are also a lot less stringent in Oregon than other neighboring states. Significantly, the amount of drug users that do not receive treatment are much lower than the national average and yet few if any people that are admitted for addiction treatment are referred by law enforcement. In fact the majority of people that enter into addiction treatment in Portland are referred by community organizations that deal with drug abuse or they admit themselves. This shows an encouraging approach to treating drug abuse; instead of law enforcement picking up drug abusers in large quantities and referring them, often unwillingly, to drug rehab, community organizers and volunteers are responsible for speaking to people who are affected by drug abuse and getting them help if they are willing to accept it.
Identifying and getting appropriate treatment for drug addiction is the most important and effective form of fighting the drug epidemic. Prohibition and enforcement against drug trafficking rarely diminishes supply and does not help people that are already suffering, and forcing people to get help does not work. Often friends and family of an addict will stage an intervention or apply tough love to try to convince someone that they need help but change must always come from within. Any addict can convince themselves to straighten up for a few days, and they frequently do so, but a strong inner will must be combined with a serious attempt to balance emotional and psychological problems and that must often occur with the help of professional drug treatment counselors. Typically at least 3 months of counseling, psychotherapy, and alternative techniques such as meditation and physical exercises are applied to heal trauma and restore normal, healthy behaviors. Aftercare can often be used for years afterwards such as continuing to attend Twelve Step meetings or continuing with counseling because the most important part of rehab is being able to resist relapses in the future when moments of weakness occur. If you or someone you love is in this situation and needs help to get back to sobriety, please contact us.
Oregon cities with drug problems: Portland, Salem, Beaverton, Eugene, Bend, Hillsboro, Medford, Gresham, Springfield, Grants Pass, Corvallis, Albany, Klamath Falls, and Oregon City
Oregon counties suffering from substance abuse: Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Lane, Marion, Jackson, Deschutes, Linn, Yamhill, Douglas, Josephine, and Benton
A Center for Addiction Recovery treats the following addiction problems:
A Center for Addiction Recovery offers the following addiction treatment programs: