Updated on May 18, 2024
3 min read

Updated Drug and Alcohol Statistics for Oregon

Oregon is facing a severe drug and alcohol abuse crisis, with the state consistently ranking among the highest in the nation for substance use disorders and related problems. This article offers an overview of the current state of drug and alcohol use in Oregon, emphasizing startling statistics on the opioid epidemic, youth substance use, and the difficulties in providing sufficient treatment and recovery services.

  • Oregon has the worst drug addiction rate in the country, with 9% of teens and adults addicted to drugs in 2020.1
  • Unintentional opioid overdose deaths increased from 280 in 2019 to 956 in 2022, with 628 reported in 2023 so far.2
  • Excessive alcohol use is responsible for over 2,000 deaths annually in Oregon.3
oregon chart 1

Substance Use and Disorders

Oregon grapples with high rates of substance use and disorders across various drugs. Consider these alarming statistics:

  • Prescription opioid misuse (past year): 4.46%, ranking 1st in the U.S.4
  • Heroin use (past year): 0.56%, ranking 11th in the U.S.4
  • Cocaine use (past year): 2.37%, ranking 7th in the U.S.4
  • Methamphetamine use (past year): Oregon has a higher rate than the national average, with 2.00%.4
  • Illicit drug use disorder (past year): 9.04%, higher than the U.S. average.4
  • Alcohol use disorder (past year): 13.03%, higher than the U.S. average.4
oregon chart 2

The high rates of substance use and disorders underscore the pressing need for accessible and effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services across the state.

Alcohol Use and Related Issues

Alcohol use is a major problem in Oregon, with excessive drinking contributing to numerous health and social issues.

  • Excessive alcohol use is responsible for over 2,000 deaths annually in Oregon.3
  • In 2021, Oregonians averaged 669 alcoholic drinks for the entire year.5

Addressing excessive alcohol use through prevention, education, and treatment is crucial for improving public health and reducing alcohol-related harms in Oregon.

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Opioid Crisis and Overdose Deaths

The opioid crisis has had a devastating impact on Oregon, with a sharp increase in overdose deaths in recent years.

  • Unintentional opioid overdose deaths increased from 280 in 2019 to 956 in 2022, with 628 reported in 2023 so far.2
  • Opioid overdose visits to emergency departments and urgent care centers were higher in 2023 than previous years.2

Combating the opioid crisis requires a comprehensive approach that includes prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services.

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Youth Substance Use

Youth substance use is a significant concern in Oregon, with high rates of tobacco and alcohol use among students.

  • High rates of tobacco use in 8th and 11th grade students, above 15%, as well as high rates of alcohol use in 11th grade students.6

Preventing youth substance use through education, early intervention, and promoting healthy lifestyles is essential for the well-being of Oregon's young people.

The statistics presented in this article paint a dire picture of the drug and alcohol abuse crisis in Oregon. From the alarming rates of substance use disorders to the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic and the troubling levels of youth substance use, it is clear that urgent action is needed to address these issues. By investing in prevention, treatment, and recovery services, and promoting collaboration among community stakeholders, we can support those struggling with addiction and create a healthier future for all Oregonians.

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Updated on May 18, 2024

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