PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Roughly one in four Oregonians was prescribed opioids in 2013, positioning the state as the nation’s leader in abuse of painkillers.
Doctors wrote more than 900,000 scripts for opioids in 2013, and Oregon’s death rate from overdose quadrupled between 2000 and 2012, a 2014 report by the Oregon Health Authority says.
“Clearly, we have a tragic epidemic right here in our midst,” said Marvin D. Seppala, M.D., chief medical officer at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.
Furthermore, the report estimates overdoses from all drugs cost Oregon hospitals $31 million in 2012 alone.
What organizers call a “community conversation” will be held October 2 at Oregon Health Sciences University, sponsored by the Center for Public Advocacy and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.
Experts, family members of people struggling with opioid addiction, and law enforcement will be on hand for the discussion.