Oregon sees rise in overdose deaths

The Oregon Health Authority is seeing a nearly 40% increase in overdose deaths compared to last year’s stats. A trend also being reflected nationwide

In Oregon alone, the OHA is seeing at least 339 people dying of a drug overdose from January to June. While doctors don’t know exactly why this is they believe it may have something to do with the added stressors of the pandemic.

“People who use substances or have substance use disorder they’re already facing a lot of difficulties in normal time. Things are getting worsen by the pandemic and we probably think that’s playing a role,” said Dr. Tom Jeanne, Dep. State Health Officer.

The OHA told NBC5 it’s seen an increase in methamphetamine, as well as illicit fentanyl-related overdose deaths. The agency recently launched a 24-hour helpline for people in need of support, called Safe + Strong Helpline call 1-800-923-HELP if you need council.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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