Oregon has a drug problem. It has the second highest rate of opioid abuse in the nation and is 6th among the top 10 states for biggest drug problems. An average of three Oregonians die every week from prescription opioid overdose, and many more develop opioid use disorders. Addiction can start with prescription painkillers, putting patients at risk for addiction and overdose. In fact, as of 2015, Southwest Oregon was in the highest dose per capita grouping that the CDC has.

But if you think that the only cost of drug addiction is treating overdoses in hospital emergency rooms, think again. Drug abuse creates a social, health, and economic cost.

Social Cost

  • Domestic violence
  • Divorce
  • Lower educational attainment
  • Poverty
  • Unemployment

Health Care Costs

  • Increases in birth defects
  • Treating unintentional injuries
  • Driving accidents
  • Higher rates of uninsured and Medicaid enrollment
  • More Oregonians age 65 and up are landing in the hospital for opioid overdoses, abuse, dependence and adverse effects at a greater rate than any other state.
  • Suicide

Economic Cost

  • Loss of jobs
  • Criminal justice system
  • Emergency response
  • Each Oregon resident, whether they are users or non-users, contributes roughly $155 per year to the opioid epidemic.

While Oregon is prescribing fewer opioids than in the past, 280 million pills were still given out last year. If you or someone you know needs treatment, start now.