Health

Brown signs executive order, bills on drug addiction

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Following an earlier promise, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed two bills and an order setting new deadlines for a state drug policy commission dogged by staffing and other issues.

The order, which Brown signed Tuesday in Portland, declares addiction to be a public health crisis in the state and sets a timeline for the Oregon Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission to deliver a plan to combat the problem.

"If we can make meaningful change in addiction, prevention treatment and recovery, we can create better lives for our families," Brown said. "My goal is to make sure that folks get the most effective treatment first and most-needed assistance now."

Brown met with the nonprofit Lines for Life, which aims to help prevent substance abuse and suicide. One of their volunteers, a recovering heroin addict, told KOIN 6 News that he's excited for the new funding for resources.

Brown had announced the order, which includes several intermediary deadlines and a 2020 due date, in February.

The move is the latest in a long effort to address substance abuse through the commission, which has struggled with staffing issues and canceled meetings.

Two bills, also signed Tuesday, cover similar ground and require studying barriers to addiction treatment.

KOIN 6 News Reporter Chris Holmstrom contributed to this report


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