A message from Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan:
Measure 110 — which decriminalized hard drugs — was approved by Oregon voters in 2020 and went into effect in February of 2021.
Essentially, possession of heroin, methamphetamine, oxycodone pills, and other hard drugs is no longer a crime. This measure was sold to voters primarily as a promotion of drug treatment. The new law allows for the violating person in possession of these dangerous drugs to call a hotline to be assessed for treatment rather than pay a small fine. Entering treatment is NOT mandatory. You may have seen recent news stories sharing the failure of this decriminalization of drugs. Less than 1% of those cited for the violation of possession of these hard drugs enter treatment. More than half don’t even appear in court, with no consequences.
With the stigma of drug use and possession being taken away through decriminalization, I fear we will see our youth being more willing to try them these hard drugs. How do we as parents be okay with the message that possession of a beer will get you in more trouble than possession of heroin?
To make matters worse, these drugs are often laced with fentanyl, an extremely dangerous drug responsible for numerous overdoses. Fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs, including, methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin; or sold as counterfeit oxycodone pills, all with the intention of getting people hooked.
A few weeks ago, one of our patrol deputies seized a bag of fentanyl pills that were being passed as a black market prescription drug. Overdose deaths are on the rise across the state and typically target those 18-45 years old. All drugs are horribly dangerous, but fentanyl is the most lethal. Sometimes people don’t even know what they are really taking.
With current laws creating obstacles for our deputies in the protection of our children from these drugs, we are hoping parents and the rest of the community will help us by providing more education about this problem. We are sharing a video with important information on fentanyl as well as other drug addiction resources on our website.
I urge parents to watch this video and share it with their pre-teens and teenagers. Please talk to your kids about the dangers of ALL drugs. Talk to them often, not just once. Please help keep our kids safe.
-Sheriff Michelle Duncan
More Drug Prevention Resources:
Linn County Alcohol and Drug 800-304-7468
Narcotics Anonymous 877-233-4287
Serenity Lane 541-766-3540
Alcohol and Drug Help Line: 800-923-4357
Alcohol and Drug Treatment Referrals: 800-996-3784