In an effort to curb fentanyl and drug overdoses among young people, Governor Tina Kotek will soon sign the legislation into law.
In order to inform students about the risks of opioids and the state laws that protect those who report overdoses or seek treatment, Senate Bill 238 mandates that the Oregon Health Authority, Board of Education, and Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission create educational materials.
The Oregon Health Authority estimates that there will be 280 fatalities related to opioids in 2019, 472. Fentanyl, which is deadly even in tiny doses (the equivalent of two grains of sand), is suspected in many of the deaths. Illegal medications that look like oxycodone or Xanax are commonly used to lace them.
Oregon Governor Tina Kotek tweeted the following statement about the state’s universal healthcare system:
As Governor, I remain committed to working with stakeholders across the state to improve access to care, increase treatment capacity, and build a more effective and equitable behavioral health system for all Oregonians.
— Governor Tina Kotek (@GovTinaKotek) May 19, 2023
According to The Lund Report, dozens of young people have tried and died from the d*ugs, including 73 between the ages of 15 and 24 in 2021. Research shows that most young people do not understand the risks associated with fentanyl and other illicit drugs.
Oregon Recovers’ policy director in Portland, Tony Morse, gave the bill high marks when it was signed into law. It was approved by the Senate on April 3 by a vote of 28-1, with only Republican Sen. Art Robinson of Cave Junction voting no. It was approved by the House on April 6 by a vote of 59-0.
“There is no doubt in my mind that this bill will save lives,” Morse said. “Fentanyl is claiming too many lives, snatching away too many futures, leaving too many grieving families.”
The Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission’s three-year-old statewide plan emphasizes the importance of school-based initiatives in reducing substance abuse.
After many students and alumni of the Beaverton School District died from fentanyl overdoses in 2020 and 2021, the district became one of the first in the country to require annual fentanyl education for all middle and high school students.
Administrators claim that there have been no further fentanyl-related fatalities in the district subsequently, though Portland schools have.
Two students at McDaniel High School died of overdoses in 2022, while a student at Franklin High School died of an apparent fentanyl overdose earlier this year.
Beaverton provides all schools in the United States with its middle and high school curriculum materials. They can be downloaded in their entirety on its website. Some have argued that Oregon doesn’t need to mandate the creation of new curricula and that the state should instead encourage other schools to embrace the program.
They further claim there is a lack of necessity in passing this legislation. The curriculum will not include information on the dangers of alcohol or methamphetamine, both of which are serious problems in Oregon, and the materials won’t be ready until the 2024-25 school year.
The following is the most up-to-date list of events that will be taking place in Oregon:
- Oregon Driver Shatters Speed Records at 176 Mph on I-5!
- Portland’s New Safe Rest Village Disturbs Neighbors.
As federal statistics, Oregon has the highest rate of illegal drug usage among adults, at roughly 10%, and the sixth highest rate of alcohol addiction, at 12%, among adults aged 12 and up.
House Bill 2395, introduced by Portland Democrat Rep. Maxine Dexter, is one of several pieces of legislation this session motivated by the state’s drug problem.
The initiative intends to increase access to naloxone, a medicine used to counteract the effects of an overdose. It breezed through the House by a vote of 48-9 but is stalled in the Senate because Republicans are still on a walkout, which forbids the Senate from holding votes.