PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — While the Portland area continues to grapple with the opioid epidemic, there’s also progress: Oregon’s first medical detox center using Measure 110 funds is set to open later this month.
“There’s been a lag time between the decision to move forward with Measure 110 with Oregon voters and services coming online, so a lot of folks have understandably been frustrated with the process,” said Joe Bazeghi, director of engagement for Recovery Works NW.
Two years later, the measure’s cannabis tax revenue will fund the detox center, along with an additional $1.5 million from Clackamas County, as the county is located a half a mile from the new facility. Although it will be located on Southeast Foster Road, the center is set to serve folks from the entire area.
“Everyone who comes through here is going to be connected with case management services and will be offered a continuation of their care, whether that’s in a residential treatment setting, or, one thing Recovery Works NW operates is housed outpatient services, so folks can live 4-6 months rent free in a residential house so as long as they continue to engage in an outpatient basis with our substance use disorder services — medicine as well as mental health,” Bazeghi said.
Operated by Recovery Works NW, the short-term facility is set to serve hundreds each year suffering from fentanyl, opioid, and alcohol addictions.
“Sixteen beds doesn’t sound like a whole lot but people are here 3-5 days, so that’s 1,200 treatments over the course of a year,” Bazeghi said. “Altogether, we estimate that these 16 beds actually represent an increase of about 15% in our medically monitored withdrawal capacity in the City of Portland, even in the greater Portland area.”
The facility held its grand opening Friday, and Recovery Works NW is already working on community outreach to find those in need of services. Bazeghi says he understands Measure 110 has had a rough start, but that this is a first and much-needed step in the right direction.
“This is a matter of life and death for many in the community,” Bazeghi said.
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, who was at the opening, also discussed the impact it will have, saying, in part: “After decades of disinvestment, we have to build back up our treatment capacity and empower practitioners with the resources needed to help our most vulnerable communities.”
The Southeast Portland facility is expected to open in late August, with a facility in Milwaukie also set to open in December or January. An outpatient facility in Newberg opened earlier this year.