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The Oregon Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act, also known as Measure 110, was passed in November 2020 to address Oregon’s addiction and overdose problem. Measure 110 was designed to implement a more humane approach to handling drug addiction. While drug possession is typically charged as a misdemeanor, Oregon’s new law reduces the charge to a civil infraction. When the police observe an individual with a small amount of drugs, a citation and $100 fine is issued instead of an arrest. This fine can then be waived if the individual calls a support line and completes a “social service needs assessment.” Measure 110 also created the Behavioral Health Resource Networks to provide resources for people abusing drugs who need “treatment, care, and services.” These services include harm-reduction interventions and peer support. A report published by the Oregon Health Authority “found more than 60,000 Oregonians struggling with addiction were helped through Measure 110,” which suggests that the Measure is beneficial. Nonetheless, there are gaps in Measure 110 that Oregon desperately needs to address.

This post was originally published on the Cardozo Journal of Equal Rights and Social Justice website on March 1, 2024. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.

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