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New drug report: Meth still Oregon's No. 1 problem, run mostly by Mexican drug traffickers

Oregon Live, June 21, 2015

Methamphetamine use and trafficking is up in Oregon, but authorities are developing strategies to break up the distribution chain, according to a new state report.

"Methamphetamine use and trafficking has increased ... and reflects the area's greatest drug threat, followed by heroin, marijuana, controlled prescription drugs, cocaine and designer drugs," the report says.

Those are the conclusions of a new state report released last week by the Oregon High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program, part of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The program helps to manage anti-drug efforts in Clackamas, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Lane, Malheur, Marion, Multnomah, Umatilla and Washington counties and the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, along with and Ada and Canyon counties in Idaho.

The report says heroin production is expanding in Mexico and Oregon's legal medical marijuana growing operations "continues to be exploited" for supplying black-market sales.

Abuse of prescription drugs also is on the rise as more doctors have stepped up prescriptions for opioid medications while family members or friends continue to pass their medications to users. An ironic postscript, however, indicates that some prescription opioid users have switched to heroin because it is easier to obtain.

Designer drugs such as ecstasy, synthetic cannabis, bath salts and LSD still are available on college campuses.

The only good news was that cocaine use, reflecting national trends, continues to decline.