Oregon Recovers launches mobile app to address addiction crisis

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Recovers, a statewide coalition of people in recovery plus their families and friends, launched the Recovery Network of Oregon mobile app aimed at addressing the state’s addiction crisis Wednesday afternoon.

According to the coalition, people can use the app to search for support services, providers, peers and meetings intended to assist them in their recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Users can even filter services by cultural identity, lived experience and insurance.

“It has a geo-locator,” said Mike Marshall, Executive Director of Oregon Recovers. “When you pull it up, it knows exactly where you at and it will tell you in the surrounding area where resources are available.”

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The coalition added that the motivation to create the app came from the fact that Oregon has the 2nd highest level of untreated addiction in the country, but ranks 50th in access to treatment.

Oregon Recovers Executive Director Mike Marshall, February 4, 2024 (KOIN)
Oregon Recovers Executive Director Mike Marshall, February 4, 2024 (KOIN)

Additionally, the coalition emphasized excessive alcohol use is Oregon’s third-leading cause of preventable death and disease. Furthermore, 18% of Oregonians 12 and older have an untreated substance use disorder.

“It’s a tool for families to use,” Marshall added. “For individuals like myself who are in recovery who need some support because they are feeling shaky.”

The app is available to download for free on Apple and Android.

Measure 110?

As the short legislative session is about to begin in Salem, lawmakers in both parties have proposals to recriminalize drugs for the first time in 3 years.

Democrats unveiled a bill that would make possession of small amounts of drugs a low-level misdemeanor. It offcers those caught in possession the choice between being charged and treatment, and makes it easier to convict drug dealers.

Republicans say the Democrats’ plan doesn’t go far enough. Their bill has stronger penalties for possession and bans public use of hard drugs.

Some critics of Measure 110, like former gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan, want to completely overhaul it.

“If we act like 110 structurally can be salvaged, that’s going to be a problem long term,” Drazan said. “110 is the wrong foundation to build a behavioral health system or a mental health system that is stable and secure.”

Marshall understands the thoughts but doesn’t agree.

“Some people need that level of significant consequences in order to to respond, but that those consequences don’t follow you for the rest of life or creates such a huge hill for you to climb to get rid of them,” Marshall said. “It’s not about prosecuting drug use. It’s about intervening and drug use. And so the combination of decriminalizing with rapid expungement, that’s something that we can get behind.”

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