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Measure 110 implementation frustrates local officials

A fentanyl test strip.
Jesse Costa
/
WBUR
A fentanyl test trip. Facing overdoses in Lincoln County, addiction care workers do not yet have the money allotted to them by Measure 110.

A year after Measure 110 largely decriminalized drug use in Oregon, local officials are frustrated.

Measure 110 reduces possession penalties for small amounts of heroin and other illegal drugs to fines. It also funds drug and alcohol treatment.

At a July 12 symposium, leaders in Lincoln County addiction care criticized the law.

Sheriff Curtis Landers said the loss of jail diversion as a tool makes it difficult to get users into treatment, and Judge Sheryl Bachart believes the law undermines messaging around consequences.

Jennifer Beckner is the Overdose Prevention Coordinator for Linn, Benton and Lincoln Counties. She said local partners, when funded, will combat these problems.

“There are a lot of negative impacts that we're seeing in our community, but I'm hoping that that's going to change soon.”

Lincoln County was allotted $4.6 million through Measure 110, but community providers said they’re still waiting on funding.

Nathan Wilk is a KLCC Reporting Intern through the Snowden Internship Program. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Wilk began volunteering in radio at 11-years-old, and he has served as a radio DJ and host on multiple local stations. Today, he is a Journalism undergraduate at the University of Oregon with a focus in local artistic communities. In his free time, Wilk enjoys writing music and reading old horror novels.