The Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council has approved financing for drug treatment and recovery services for the 36th and final Oregon county after struggling through what had been called a lethargic process by Oregon health officials.
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) was mandated by Measure 110, the historic drug decriminalization measure approved by Oregon voters in 2020, to construct at least one Behavioral Health Resource Network (BRHN) in each Oregon county. OHA reported that as of this week, the council had authorized 44 BHRNs in the 36 counties of Oregon, with some counties receiving services from more than one network. Each of these networks provides community-driven and culturally relevant drug treatment and recovery services.
“Despite having some of the highest addiction rates, Oregon has for far too long been among the states with the lowest levels of support provision for those suffering from addiction, according to a statement from the council’s tri-chair Ron Williams. “Measure 110 looks to change that. My town has been the target of the drug war for more than 50 years, so it will take time to completely put this revolutionary law into practice.
Since certifying the first of the state’s networks in May, the OAC has awarded more than $264 million in BRHN financing, according to OHA.
The council was mandated to consider proposals from this statewide network of recovery clinics and treatment facilities as part of its order. The establishment of a grant program to finance addiction rehabilitation clinics was mandated by Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act, and the OAC was responsible for deciding how the grant funds would be allocated. These county cooperative networks were classified as BHRNs by Senate Bill 755, which was passed in 2021.
Multnomah County received more than $58 million, Washington County more than $20 million, and Clackamas County more than $14 million of the $264 million in BHRN funds that were given.
The OHA created an online dashboard that displays the BHRNs that have received financial approval and the standards that were met to create these networks.
As drug addictions and overdoses grew statewide, efforts to get the millions of dollars in funding to treatment centers and related services as part of Oregon’s groundbreaking drug decriminalization had been progressing more slowly than state officials and addiction recovery advocates had hoped and anticipated.
Millions of dollars in tax money from the state’s legal marijuana sector were diverted to treatment as a result of Measure 110. In June, state representatives testified in front of the House Interim Committee on Behavioral Health that grant applications piled up because state representatives underestimated the amount of labor needed to review them and distribute the funds.
“Clearly, if we could go back in time, I would have requested a lot more people much earlier in the process, “Steve Allen, head of state behavioral health, stated in June. We just lacked the resources to support this effort, misjudged the amount of labor required to support something of this nature, and, in part, didn’t completely comprehend it until we were in the thick of it.
Measure 110 was overwhelmingly approved by Oregon voters on November 3, 2020. The historic law was created to decriminalize the possession of some minor amounts of drugs while providing additional funding for treatment. Supporters of the ballot initiative praised it as a historic step for the US.
Following the decision, law enforcement officials in Oregon were no longer allowed to detain people for having minor amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycodone, and other substances in their hands.
Those detected in possession, however, will receive a citation and may be subject to a $100 fine.
However, those who are caught with tiny amounts of these narcotics can call the Addiction Recovery Center Hotline and complete a health assessment to avoid paying the fee.
The $300 million initiative has never been attempted before, according to Allen, a representative of the Oregon Health Authority, who testified to lawmakers during the remote meeting. He claimed that it has a lot of potentials and criticized the government for “over-relying on traditional treatment.”
“People who have experienced this and have, in my opinion, some very fascinating, good ideas about what these service systems ought to look like, developed the service array, the types of services that are included, the methodology, the harm reduction, etc “Added Allen. “It is therefore a test. We’ll know more in a few years, in my opinion.
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