Portland is making it simpler for fentanyl addicts to get their dose by providing smokers with aluminium foil, straws, and pipes. All while the neighbourhood is still dealing with rampant drug and homelessness crises.
Outrage and Concern
Kevin Dahlgren, a drug counsellor, expressed shock at the action on “Fox & Friends First” on Monday. That officials lack solutions to the rising number of challenges, including the drug epidemic, which has enraged many members of the community.
“Their new plan is to just let them all die,” he explained. “I mean, this is just unbelievable. This is the most lethal drug in history, and now we’re providing them the ability to commit suicide more quickly in these harm reduction clinics.”
The county’s harm reduction activities include the distribution of health department handouts. A technique that educates drug users and offers them with supplies such as clean needles, pipes, and overdose-reversing naloxone.
“The new part of the programme is that we’re adding supplies for people who smoke drugs,” said Multnomah County public health director Jessica Guernsey to KOIN 6. “Drug usage has shifted from injection to smoking, which enables us to reach folks who may not otherwise use our services.”
Because fentanyl is commonly smoked rather than injected, visits to county clinics have decreased by more than 60% since 2019. Sarah Dean, a county representative, said Willamette Week, which broke the news.
“Dean stated, “Research from the last few decades has also shown that providing safer drug use materials does not result in an increase in illicit drug use.”
Portland County Officials Accused of Enabling Fentanyl Epidemic
However, Dahlgren criticised the neighbourhood health department, saying it was cruel to make an already dire situation worse.
“That’s their justification for doing this, is that we’ll have more interaction and contact with them,” he said. “But the fact is, they don’t offer services. They just encourage the use. It’s just completely inhumane.”
The county was criticised by Portland’s Democrat mayor for “actively enabling” the deadly fentanyl crisis with the action.
“Additionally, this foolish strategy puts everyone’s safety at peril in the name of individuals who merely want to have fun. Our city is filled with toxic smoke, and we are unable to even get outdoors. Ted Wheeler, the mayor, stated in a statement.