Gov. Kate Brown declared addiction a public health crisis Tuesday afternoon at a rally hosted by Oregon Recovers.
Brown made the announcement in front of 250 activists and 60 legislators gathered to hear family members and addicts in recovery share their experience with addiction including Rep. Tawna Sanchez who spoke about her recovery.
Chairman of Oregon Recovers, Brent Canode, was in favor of the efforts.
"This action by the governor and Rep. Sanchez is a giant first step in transforming Oregon's fractured and incomplete addition recovery system into a recovery-based, continuum-of-care which recognizes addiction as a chronic disease requiring a lifetime of attention," said Canode.
The governor called on the Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission to create a strategy to reduce addiction and alleviate its impacts and the commission will be submitting funding requests to the governor for inclusion in her December budget for the 2019-2021 biennium.
"The ripple effects of addiction devastate families, preventing thousands of Oregonians all across the state from living healthy, productive lives," Brown said. "This crisis will only worsen without improving access to appropriate treatments, collecting data to drive our policies, and reducing stigma. To protect our most vulnerable, we must turn the tide on this treatable illness."
Separate legislature, requested by Brown, is making its way through government. The mandate, HB4143, is asking for addiction treatment efforts and stronger regulation as well as support to address the opioid crisis.
Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.