Portland at Center of new Heroin Epidemic

Heroin needle & spoonIn a meeting (4/20 ) with the Shutter Creek Prison Superintendent, the local Parole Board Director and various staff, volunteers heard something that we should all contemplate.

Law Enforcement Interagency planning is based on all kinds of Criminal Intelligence gathering, as one can imagine. In this case the context is Heroin. I wrote the following in my notes:

“We are on the cusp of a wave of heroin abuse problems — the magnitude of which we’ve never faced before.”

We were left with the sense that the administration is in an unusual ramp-up mode. It seemed that there was a tone generally, of worry. Perhaps some of this is owing to legacy attitudes toward the impending decriminalization of certain “Gateway Drugs” — but whatever — the concern was palpable.

This was followed by a discussion of the evidence for this forecast including: The changing face of criminal activities across Oregon. Trends that are toward more open violence, during-daylight armed robbery, break-in’s, etc. Heroin anchors this wave. And Oregon (Portland) is a center of the problem, nationally – with leading treatments. See this article (4/29 Bizjournals.com)

Geo-politics and near east conflicts have opened flood gates for cheaper, higher quality opiates.
Geo-politics and near east conflicts have opened flood gates for cheaper, higher quality opiates.

It seems reasonable to link these emerging problems back to an unfettered supply chain — places like Pakistan have returned to producing heroin. With increasing drug volume comes lower cost and higher quality… echoes of a previous generation, it seems.

For those who would promote the application of Biblical truth to helping alcoholics and addicts, this might be an opportunity for churches to re-evaluate their posture in this context.

Perhaps you can imagine what it would be like to support Christian values in “recovery meetings” such as Celebrate Recovery, other Christian 12-step programming or basic AA / AlAnon?

Any CR or CRI volunteer would enjoy a chance to discuss Celebrate Recovery — and how we’ve found it to be an excellent collection of “Applicational” studies based on the Beatitudes. How can we help you begin a meeting in your community?

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