News and press releases

Statement to the community: Our commitment to overdose awareness and prevention

Aug 29, 2022, 20:15 PM

 

We believe great healthcare is for everyone. That’s why we’ve been partnering with our communities to address an increasing need—overdose prevention.

Drug overdose is a growing crisis in Oregon.

Since 2019, we’ve seen a 600% increase in fentanyl related overdoses in our state, quickly making it the leading cause of overdose deaths in Oregon.

As we reach record overdose deaths, it’s important that our community direct efforts toward overdose awareness and prevention.

As a healthcare organization, we know that people are more likely to engage in medical care when they feel safe, seen and heard. And yet, too often stigma prevents people who use drugs from accessing lifesaving services.

We see a need for our healthcare systems to address substance use and work toward evidence-based solutions, such as harm reduction strategies. We see a need to destigmatize and provide care for ALL without judgement.

We can address this through provider education, making harm reduction supplies more accessible, increasing the number of peers with lived experience working in our healthcare systems, and using data to inform person-first strategies to reach members in ways that are meaningful to them.

We are proud to work alongside partners such as Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties, community-based organizations and hospitals to provide person-centered care to reach members where they are at and make harm reduction supplies as easy to access as possible.

Overdose is preventable, and we are committed to investing in its solution alongside our partners. Because we’ve seen how this work saves and changes lives.

-Amit Shah, MD, Chief Medical Officer