Oregon Updates Fentanyl Emergency Efforts After A Month

In a united front against the growing fentanyl crisis, the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and the State of Oregon declared a fentanyl emergency 30 days ago. Now, representatives of these three government bodies are coming together to share the progress made and the changes implemented during this time.

At the forefront of this initiative are Governor Tina Kotek, County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson, and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. Their joint effort aims to combat the devastating impact of fentanyl on the community. Initially planned as a 90-day endeavor, Multnomah County quickly recognized the urgency and made the emergency declaration permanent within a week.

During a recent roundtable meeting, city officials and law enforcement discussed the developments that have taken place over the past month. Prior to the emergency declaration, Portland Police Sgt. Jerry Cioeta highlighted the overwhelming nature of the addiction crisis. The situation had become unmanageable, posing a severe threat to public health and safety.

In response to this pressing issue, the emergency measures have targeted the Portland city center, where the fentanyl problem has been particularly concentrated. Two container return centers have been closed as part of the strategy to disrupt the bottle-to-cash-to-fentanyl cycle that law enforcement has observed in these areas. The two affected locations are the Safeway at Southwest 11th Avenue and Jefferson Street, as well as the Plaid Pantry just a few blocks away.

These closures aim to disrupt the illicit flow of funds that enables the trade and distribution of fentanyl. By interrupting the cycle at its source, authorities hope to curb the accessibility and availability of the deadly drug in the city center. While it is still early in the process, the closure of these container return centers marks a significant step forward in the fight against the fentanyl crisis. The tri-government declaration remains committed to continuously monitoring the situation and implementing further measures as necessary.