PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon ranks second in the country for substance use disorder, according to new numbers from a survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
These numbers were given to KOIN 6 News by Oregon Recovers, and they compare 2020 to 2019. According to the survey, nearly one in five Oregonians struggle with addiction.
The state also fell to 50th in access to treatment with 18% of Oregonians needing but not receiving treatment.
Oregon ranks first in the country for both opioid misuse and methamphetamine misuse rate, the survey stated. Meth usage skyrocketed during the same time period examined, seeing a 53% increase from 2019, according to the survey.
State officials said between 2019 and 2020, alcohol-related deaths had increased 73% and drug overdoses had increased 39%.
Officials with Oregon Recovers say Oregon’s key problem is in fact alcohol and the state’s focus on sales.
“Instead of addressing the fact that we are in this pandemic, alcohol was a threat to both people’s personal health but also, judgment to social distancing — instead the state was going into increase alcohol consumption by increasing alcohol sales so we have our priorities totally screwed up,” said Mike Marshall, executive director with Oregon Recovers.
Data from the Oregon Health Authority also found Black people to have died of overdoses at twice the rate of white people, and Native people to have died of overdoses at three times the rate of white people, Oregon Recovery said.
People who are struggling with addiction can call a national hotline at 800-662-HELP(4357).