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Oregon Counties Hold First Joint Summit On Opioid Addiction

<p>Clackamas County Sheriff, Craig Roberts, talks to the tri-county summit on opioid abuse.</p>

Kristian Foden-Vencil

Clackamas County Sheriff, Craig Roberts, talks to the tri-county summit on opioid abuse.

The three counties that make up the greater Portland metro area held a joint summit Friday to tackle opioid addiction, marking the first wider collaborative effort in the area.

Politicians, district attorneys, sheriffs and health workers from Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah counties attended the summit.

They talked about everything from detoxing in jail to how paramedics deal with people who overdose.

Dwight Holton of the substance abuse nonprofit Lines For Life thinks the summit might be the start of something big.

“We’re here today to get the counties, the sheriffs and the DAs together on action to address the opioid crisis,” he said.

Holton said counties can be more effective if they work together.

Portland’s neighbors to the north in Clark County, Washington, were not part of the summit.

Speaking at the summit, Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese warned that Portland and Oregon are seeing the start of the epidemic — not the end.

Copyright 2018 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.