Fighting addiction, the Salem way

Regular readers know that I was opposed to ballot measure 110, which legalized hard drugs on Oregon streets immediately, while making only vague promises about addiction treatment options somewhere down the line. Well, it passed, and it's gone just as I predicted. Every addict from 1,000 miles around is either here or planning to come here, and there's been no significant increase in treatment facilities. Cops hand out tickets with an 800 number for the strung-out addicts to call. Funny thing, they don't call. Instead, they live in tents on the sidewalks until they eventually overdose and die.

The ballot measure was bad enough, but the problem is being made worse by the bureaucrats in Salem, who are taking their own sweet time doling out around $250 million that's been set aside to expand treatment. The story is told in the Portland Tribune, here, but alas, behind a paywall. The gist of the article is that the Oregon Health Authority, which called for grant applications to be submitted back in December, now says it won't be deciding who gets what, and getting the money out into treatment providers' hands, until near the end of this year.

According to the OHA, the problem is that there's an official accountability "council" for measure 110 implementation, and it's all volunteers, and they're all busy with other things.

Woo, boy. Take a bad idea, grossly underfund it, and leave it to some inept bureaucrats to hand out the chump change – no wonder this is what you get. For Portland's sake, I hope there are no supply chain issues with body bags.


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