This Pacific Northwest state is known for the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, majestic Mount Hood, and stunning coastal regions. But despite these beautiful attributes, drug addiction tears apart relationships destroys careers and causes major health and problems every day across the state. In Oregon, these life-altering effects are largely driven by methamphetamine and opioid abuse.
Fortunately, a variety of addiction treatments and services are offered in Oregon. This continuum of care can help a person achieve their sobriety goals and heal the damage caused by addiction.
Oregon Substance Abuse Statistics
Methamphetamine and heroin are the most significant drug threats in Oregon. After these substances, the biggest drug threats are:
- Fentanyl and fentanyl analogues or other synthetic opioids (carfentanil, U-47700)
- Controlled prescription drugs (benzodiazepines, opioid painkillers, stimulants)
- Illicit marijuana
- Cocaine (including crack)
Frequently abused prescription drugs include Valium, Xanax, OxyContin, Vicodin, Adderall, and Ritalin.
Though drug abuse runs high in urban areas like Portland, rates of substance abuse have climbed the fastest in rural Oregon. Higher suicide rates, rising overdose death rates and decreased life expectancy have been linked to this trend.
Substance Use Disorders
Oregon has consistently ranked among the top states for drug abuse and addiction in the nation.
In 2017, the Oregon Substance Use Disorder Research Committee reported that:
- Two out of three Oregon residents knew someone with a substance use disorder.
- One in 10 Oregon adults had a substance use disorder.
- One out of 15 Oregon youth had a substance use disorder.
- Forty thousand Oregon residents sought treatment for addiction in 2016. Despite these numbers, only 11 percent of Oregon adults with an alcohol or drug use disorder received the treatment they needed.
Substance Abuse And Population Groups
Substance abuse and addiction is a statewide issue, however, certain groups of people face unique challenges that can complicate treatment:
- Communities of color (African American, Latino, and Native Americans)
- Homeless people
- LGBTQIA+ people
Comprehensive addiction treatment works to improve a person’s health and protect their life. The most effective treatment programs are sensitive to each person’s cultural and individual needs.
Alcohol- And Drug-Related Deaths
Alcohol and drug abuse can be deadly. In addition to the constant risk of overdose, substance abuse causes a variety of health and medical problems that can become fatal.
- Alcohol was linked to the deaths of 1,500 Oregon residents. Causes of death included acute alcohol poisoning, chronic diseases, injury, and perinatal problems.
- 312 people lost their lives to an opioid-related overdose.
- More people died from using meth than heroin.
- There were 141 meth-related deaths, a number nearly three times higher than in 2012.
Addiction Prevention Campaigns
Legislators and concerned community members are working together to stem the tide of substance abuse across the state.
Oregon Coalition for the Responsible Use of Medications
This group has four main strategies: reduce pills, improve pain management, increase access to treatment and improve public education.
The goal of this program is to reduce teen alcohol abuse. Oregon mORe educates parents, students and community members on the dangers of alcohol abuse and the importance of prevention.
Oregon Addiction Treatment Programs
Oregon drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs provide personalized addiction treatment options. With the right combination of treatments and therapies, an addicted person and their loved ones can begin to live a more balanced, fulfilling life.
A person’s life and addiction should be evaluated to determine what therapies will work best for their specific needs. Treatment providers use a clinical assessment to develop an individualized treatment plan.
Each person working toward sobriety needs a different treatment plan, but in general, the following treatments and services can help a person live a drug-free life.
Some people who are experiencing a substance use disorder refuse to admit that they need help, while others genuinely don’t realize it. A professional intervention provides family and loved ones with an opportunity to lovingly explain why they need treatment. An interventionist will also research treatment options, and some may even personally escort a person to treatment.
Drug And Alcohol Detox Programs
Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the drug but can include anxiety, mood swings, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and seizures. Along with intense cravings, these symptoms can become unbearable and motivate an immediate relapse if the person is not in a medically supported drug and alcohol detox program. This happens more frequently in people who are addicted to alcohol, benzodiazepines or opioid drugs.
A medically supported detox uses medications to manage withdrawal symptoms to keep a person safe and as comfortable as possible. Twenty-four-hour care ensures that a person’s health and medical needs are addressed in a timely way.
Inpatient Addiction Treatment
High-quality inpatient drug rehab centers in Oregon provide integrated treatment for drug and alcohol addictions. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive therapies, counseling and peers support groups that teach a person how to adopt healthier ways of thinking and behaving.
Addiction disrupts the way a person thinks, feels and relates to the world around them, and addiction can make it difficult for a person to form meaningful relationships. It takes time to overcome the way these harmful effects have changed a person’s life. A person typically has the most opportunities for therapy and personal development in a residential addiction treatment program. These therapy sessions also help to restore relationships and build self-confidence.
As a person works to strengthen their recovery, treatment staff will guide them toward developing the coping, relapse-prevention, and sober-livings skills that address the demands of their life. Inpatient programs also work well for people who are in need of dual-diagnosis treatment for a mental illness, such as depression or anxiety.
Outpatient Addiction Treatment
Most outpatient drug rehab programs in Oregon allow a person to return home after their treatment sessions end each day. This format could expose a person to relapse triggers, such as drug-abusing friends or access to events where drugs are used. This can make it difficult for some people to focus on their sobriety.
Because of this, outpatient addiction treatment and intensive outpatient programs may be better used to support a person as they finish an inpatient program. Step-down services guide a person as they adjust to independent living. They also help a person keep their coping and relapse-prevention skills sharp.
Aftercare And Alumni Services
The strongest recoveries are nurtured over the course of a person’s life. Oregon aftercare and alumni services can make it easier to achieve this goal. The following services work to keep a person sober and inspired by life’s challenges:
- Online recovery resources
- Mentorship opportunities
- Peer support groups
- Self-improvement classes
- Sober living homes
Specialized Oregon Addiction Treatment Programs
Oregon residents may be able to choose from a variety of specialized addiction treatment programs, including:
- Executive or professional
- LGBTQIA+ friendly
- Religious or faith-based
- 12-step and 12-step alternatives
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Dual diagnosis
Medication-assisted treatment programs combine medications, behavioral therapies and counseling to treat the psychological and physical harm caused by addiction.
Medications used to treat opioid use disorders include:
- Buprenorphine (Suboxone)
Medications used to treat alcohol use disorders include:
- Acamprosate (Campral)
- Disulfiram (Antabuse)
- Naltrexone (Vivitrol)
Certain people may be more comfortable seeking treatment in a gender-specific addiction treatment program. These programs offer single-gender lodging and therapies that respect the needs of each patient. Some women’s-only programs may offer support for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, in addition to childcare classes.
Mental illness and substance abuse are frequently tied to each other. When both conditions occur together it’s called a co-occurring disorder. If only one condition is treated, the untreated condition can continue to cause instability. If a person is experiencing an alcohol use disorder and depression but only treats the alcohol use disorder, the depression could trigger a relapse.
Dual-diagnosis programs treat both conditions in the same program. Medications and psychotherapy are typically the first line of defense for co-occurring disorders in Oregon.
Oregon Addiction Treatment Therapies
Each person in need of treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction comes from a different background. Oregon addiction treatment centers use a variety of methods to treat the unique ways addiction has changed a person’s life. These include evidence-based and complementary treatments.
Evidence-based treatments include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- 12-step facilitation therapy
- Complementary treatments that focus on whole-person wellness include:
- Art or music therapy
- Mindfulness and stress management practices
- Pet or equine therapy
- Wilderness or adventure therapies
Many of these treatments aim to reduce stress. Unmanaged stress can lead a person to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, leading to relapse. Nutrition and physical fitness classes may also be available to help a person improve their physical and mental health.
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How To Pay For Oregon Addiction Treatment
Health insurance benefits often cover drug and alcohol addiction treatment. These behavioral health benefits may provide coverage in part or in full. The insurance plan’s copay, coverage limits and deductible may change the amount a person is required to pay out of pocket.
Health insurance companies that may cover addiction treatment for Oregon residents include:
- BridgeSpan Health
- Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest
- PacificSource Health Plans
- Providence Health Plan
- Regence BlueCross BlueShield
- Besides insurance, other options to pay for treatment may include:
- Financial support from loved ones
- Income-based fee
- Medical loans
- Payment plants
- Scholarships or grants
Treatment Program Length
The length of time a person spends in treatment is influenced by the type of drug abused, the severity of the addiction, ongoing health or medical conditions and the presence or lack of a support system at home.
Treatment program lengths may be:
- 60 days
- 90 days
- 120 days
- one year or longer
People who are working to overcome a dual diagnosis or addiction to more than one substance (polydrug addiction) may need more time in treatment.
Traveling For Addiction Treatment
Attending treatment at a long-distance or out-of-state treatment program can give a person a greater number of treatment options. These programs also increase confidentiality and privacy. Selecting a program away from home protects the patient from triggers that may exist in their community or circle of friends.