PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – With a reported increase in methamphetamine distribution and overdoses around the country, the Drug Enforcement Administration has announced an initiative to target major meth trafficking networks.

Operation Crystal Shield will pour federal resources into choking off distribution of meth in eight major cities, including Los Angeles, Phoenix and El Paso.

The federal crackdown does not address the local demand for meth in the Portland area, which is still very high.

"Some people use methamphetamines to stay up at night because it's not safe," said Laura Carlson, Program Supervisor at Club Hope, a drop-in recovery center in Northeast Portland. "If you're out on the street, it's not safe to go to sleep at night. People die. People get killed. People get assaulted."

Carlson said people ready to take a step toward treatment and recovery are regularly frustrated by long waiting lists, and weeks-long delays.

Last week, organizers launched an initiative petition that would expand access to treatment for Oregonians, IP-44.

The proposed initiative would mandate addiction recovery centers in communities around the state, potentially making drug treatment more widely available.

"We have to really begin to shift the way we think about addiction. And we have to stop being naive that we can think that we can continue to incarcerate ourselves out of this issue," said Mona Knudson, a former addict who now serves as Executive Director of Bridges to Change, an organization that links people struggling with addiction to treatment and housing.

Organizers behind IP-44 are currently gathering signatures.

They need just over 112,000 signatures to get the measure on the November ballot.

Organizers said they have already collected more than 150,000 signatures and continue their efforts to collect more.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(4) comments

Frederick Fukov

I think the best and most illuminating part of that story is where Laura Carlson, Director of "Club Hope," justifies the reason why there are so many meth addicts in Portland. She claims they do meth to stay up at night, presumably so they don't get victimized? Wow..every heard of coffee or no-doz? Yeah, it's unsafe so I better associate with those who deal meth. Absolute genius right there. And gosh, why don't others who need to be awake and alert like..ya know..pilots, truck drivers and train engineers resort to using meth? But people like Laura are the ones who are coddling the homeless, and making excuses for 'em.

Lawlessness Brings Destruction

Just mention the southern border wall as a truly effective way to combat the flow of drugs into the U.S. instead of pissing $$$ away on virtue signalling programs that do NOTHING to stop it coming in and see how fast your comment gets deleted. Simon (Gutierrez) says "NO!". He will delete.

Terrell Higgs

if an illegal is doing the drug dealing they are basically off the hook unless the feds catch them. Notice how the report said Portland was not addressed? They don't care what an illegal does

NOYB

There is no longer affordable housing left even for law-abiding citizens thanks to our governor and legislators. Now they want to build more for the druggies. Vote these socialist bleeding-heart legislators out before they tax you, the middle class right out of your own homes..

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