Ultra-Progressive State Faces Insane Spike of Overdoses

Tens of thousands of Americans have been killed by fentanyl in the past few years. Every neighborhood and every person’s life has been touched by the crisis. Some are pointing the finger at a law that the progressive voters of one state enacted, which has led to an unprecedented increase in overdose deaths.

From 2019 to 2023, the yearly death toll from fentanyl overdoses in Oregon rose 1,530%. During that time, 1,268 individuals lost their lives as a result of the drug. The rate was higher than any other state in the US.

An epidemic of the potent synthetic opioid has gripped the United States. Smuggled into the US from Mexico, its ingredients are often made in China, Mexico, or India. The couriers, who are normally lawful citizens, sneak the drug past legitimate ports of entry, which is very shocking.

Sharon Meieran, a Multnomah County commissioner, spoke to Oregon Live about the massive increase in deaths, saying, “I knew it was bad, but I honestly did not know it was that bad.”

Over the past few years, Oregon’s fentanyl death toll has risen from near the bottom to around the middle. Up one spot in the nation, the state is currently 17th. Some cite its decision to remove drug prohibition as an example.

In 2020, Oregon’s voters passed Ballot Measure 110, which decriminalized the possession of small amounts of drugs like fentanyl and heroin. Instead of taking people to jail when they are in possession of small amounts of drugs, the police give them a ticket and tell them that the ticket will go away if they call a number for a drug treatment center. ProPublica found addicts rarely call the number. Additionally, the legislature has failed to implement the measure properly, rejecting a proposed $50,000 online course that would have trained authorities on how to better use the law.

Now that drug overdoses are on the rise, lawmakers are looking to amend the ballot proposal in order to reinstate the use of prisons. When progressive lawmakers in the state plan to act is uncertain. And in the meantime, lives are being lost.




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