90-Day Fentanyl Emergency Ends In Portland 

January marked the declaration of a 90-day state of emergency in response to the fentanyl crisis that had engulfed Portland, Oregon. Now, as those three months draw to a close, the city finds itself reflecting on the progress made and contemplating the path forward.

During a press conference held downtown on Friday, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek, Mayor Ted Wheeler, and Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson highlighted the achievements accomplished during the state of emergency. They emphasized the improved coordination and outreach efforts, as well as the increased number of individuals connected with treatment and housing. Additionally, they emphasized the crackdown on drug dealing that took place during this period.

Vega Pederson shared some impressive statistics from the press conference, revealing that nearly 80 referrals to treatment or detox facilities were made, along with 300 referrals to shelters and 30 referrals to housing programs. She also mentioned the creation of dashboards to track overdose occurrences in the county, the expansion of peer outreach programs, enhanced access to Narcan (a medication that reverses overdoses), and the launch of a campaign targeting youth drug use prevention.

Looking ahead, Kotek announced that she has directed the Oregon State Police to extend their presence in Portland for an additional six months. Their role will involve working closely with city police and providing outreach support.

Despite these efforts, the county continues to grapple with the devastating impact of overdoses. Over the past three months, Multnomah County has witnessed at least 200 suspected overdose deaths, a decrease of six compared to the preceding three months. However, the average monthly death toll during the state of emergency was two higher than the average for the entirety of 2023.