Provider Response to Governor’s Task Force Recommendations


“The task force’s recommendations to declare a fentanyl emergency, centralize coordination, increase street outreach, and add more detox and treatment capacity show a commitment to handle this crisis with urgency and real action. If these recommendations were to be implemented, they would quickly reduce public use on our streets. Increased criminalization will not work and is the wrong direction. Criminalizing public use and increasing law enforcement interactions with people in crisis fail to address the real issue, and will only cause harm — particularly to communities of color and people living on the streets. Portland already has the fifth worst arrest disparities in the nation; reverting back to failed drug war policies will only make this disparity worse. We need solutions that free up law enforcement to focus on violent crime, instead of implementing controversial policies that disproportionately harm Black and Brown communities and our houseless neighbors. We need to invest in proven policies to expand behavioral healthcare and housing. Without more housing, people will be released back to the streets, making recovery even more challenging.” – Larry Turner on behalf of the Health Justice Recovery Alliance, founding member of the Oregon Black Brown Indigenous Advocacy Coalition