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City Club of Eugene: Falling Behind: Solving Oregon's Addiction Crisis

Program Date: March 19, 2021

Air Date: March 22, 2021

From The City Club of Eugene:

A 2019 report from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission found that Oregon “ranks among the most challenged states in the nation for substance abuse and mental health problems, while at the same time ranking among the worst states for access and engagement with care.”

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2017 found that Oregon ranked first nationwide in marijuana use and pain reliever misuse, second in methamphetamine use, fourth in cocaine use, and fourth in both alcohol use disorders and substance use disorders. Drug use among youth in Oregon is an area of particular concern, as Oregon adolescents used marijuana at the second-highest rate in the nation after recreational marijuana sales kicked off in 2015, according to a recent study from a national drug-testing company.

Even as one of the State’s largest mental health and addiction services provider seeks an emergency bailout, cities across the state, from Eugene to Medford, Portland to Bend, have declared addiction a public health crisis (or emergency).  Experts on this panel will describe the steps being taken to address this monumental challenge and tell how can we work to support efforts to make Oregon a leader in recovery.


Tiffany Brown, PhD, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, is a Senior Lecturer and Clinical Director in the UO Couples and Family Therapy graduate program. Her main clinical and research focus is substance use, and more specifically collegiate recovery programs. Locally, Brown has served on several non-profit boards. Currently, she is the advisory board chair for Courageous Kids (grief support program for youth) and the president for Carry it Forward (providing resources to unhoused community members). Brown previously served as the treasurer of the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE).


Mike Marshall is Co-Founder and Director of Oregon Recovers. He has 30 years of political campaign, civic engagement and advocacy experience at the national and international level. Upon arriving in Oregon in 2013, Mike served as Campaign Manager for Oregon United for Marriage and then successfully stewarded Governor Kitzhaber’s 2014 reelection campaign. Most recently, Mike served as Executive Director of the City Club of Portland, one of the oldest civic engagement organizations in the United States. Mike is profoundly grateful for more than 10 years of continuous recovery from the disease of addiction.


Teri Morgan has been the Program Coordinator at Springfield Treatment Center since July 2018. She has been involved in the recovery community for many years and worked in the addiction field since 2016. She has been in long-term recovery from substance abuse and overcome addiction and homelessness, among other challenges. She is a member of the Steering Committee of Oregon Recovers and participates in statewide advocacy to help bring light to the needs of this state on how to better address the addiction crisis.


Reginald Richardson, Sr. PhD, was appointed by Governor Kate Brown as Executive Director of the Oregon Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission, to help her lead Oregon’s efforts to combat addiction. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Richardson served as the Deputy Director for the Oregon Department of Human Services. He came to Oregon from The Family Institute at Northwestern University in Illinois, where he was Vice President for Evaluation and Clinical Services and a lecturer in the Center for Applied Psychological and Family Studies. He has taught at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels; authored several publications; and provided social work consultation to a variety of organizations. 





Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Public Speaking.