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Report Shows 1 in 10 Oregonians Struggles with Substance Abuse

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The next time you are in a crowd, look around. One in 10 people living in Oregon has a substance abuse problem. That is according to the Oregon Substance Use Disorder Research Committee, which published these startling findings in November 2017. The report pointed out that substance abuse costs Oregon taxpayers $6 billion each year.

Portland, Oregon rehab centers are working diligently to handle the influx of residents struggling with alcohol and substance abuse. With these numbers, it is likely that you or someone you know has been impacted by substance use disorder (SUD).

This article examines the findings from the Oregon Substance Abuse Disorder Research Committee report. With one in 10 Oregonians struggling personally with substance abuse and two out of three having family members who do, the problem is huge. Where can people in Portland, Oregon turn for addiction treatment?

Effects of Untreated Substance Abuse

As costly as treatments for these disorders can be, the cost of not treating SUDs is much, much higher. From healthcare and the workforce to criminal justice cases, substance abuse has a ripple effect on society’s fabric. When substance use disorders are as widespread as they are in Oregon, the effect on society permeates every sector. OPB says two of every three Oregon residents have been affected in some way by the substance abuse epidemic.

Part of the problem, of course, is the stigma associated with these disorders. The Oregon Substance Use Disorder Research Committee had this to say about the problem:

Moreover, treating SUD as a moral failing rather than a controllable disease creates a stigma that drives use of addictive substances underground and deters people from seeking treatment. 


Relying on incarceration rather than treatment will not fix the problem. Portland, Oregon rehab centers were designed to provide treatment in a non-judgmental setting to treat both the physiological and psychological effects of addiction. After studying the epidemic extensively, the Oregon SUD committee made the following recommendations:

  • Early treatment and education in childhood in the form of prevention programs are most effective.
  • Treatment programs should be culturally appropriate and treatment should be available regardless of the person’s ability to pay.
  • Telemedicine should be utilized to increase access to Oregonians in rural areas.
  • A statewide SUD hotline should be available that helps the afflicted with social services including food, housing, and medical treatment.
  • Physicians should exercise caution in prescribing opioids and should follow all federal, state, and local guidelines. Peer-to-peer accountability should be established for those that overprescribe.
  • Oregon should create a dedicated funding stream to prevent, treat, and eliminate SUDs.

The committee also had program-specific suggestions aimed at improving prescription monitoring and social services across the state.

These recommendations are a good first step toward stemming an epidemic that has rapidly spiraled out of control.

Finding a Treatment Center

The Recovery Village Ridgefield is designed to help those struggling with SUD and their family members. Treatment for alcohol and substance abuse is imperative as a first step toward regaining your life and health. In our peaceful retreat in the Pacific Northwest, you can access the treatment you need to win the battle against substance abuse and addiction disorders. If you need help, we are ready to provide it. Contact us today to discuss your situation with a compassionate, professional addiction specialist.