Today is Fentanyl Awareness Day, and the Portland City Council wants to highlight the danger and damage of illicit drugs to our community. Fentanyl and methamphetamines are profoundly impacting Portland. These drugs are more potent, cheaper, and accessible than ever. They are killing Portlanders at historic rates – greater than gun violence – and those losses reverberate among those left living. If you have lost someone to a fentanyl overdose, please know that you are in our thoughts and in our heart.
Today is about awareness, and awareness begins by recognizing that we cannot solve this problem alone. These drugs are being manufactured outside of the United States, brought here, and moved between states – so we need our federal government to tackle distribution networks. We recognize the need for City, County, State, and Federal law enforcement to seize these drugs and prosecute the suppliers and dealers.
We echo the Mayor’s call last week for our state to release the funds Oregonians set aside for addiction treatment and support through Measure 110. And as local public health authorities, Multnomah and other Oregon counties must develop concrete strategies that meet local communities’ needs. The City of Portland stands ready to assist however we can.
A particularly terrifying aspect of fentanyl is how much it looks like a variety of other pills a doctor might prescribe you. So please practice awareness in your own life and do not take pills you have not been prescribed.