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Oregon Drug Overdoses Spiked Early In Pandemic

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We keep seeing news items and statistics about "deaths of despair" in America, people who died from suicide or drug overdose at the end of a bleak life.

The causes still need to be examined, but the Oregon Health Authority reports a 70% jump in deaths by drug overdose in April and May of this year, just as the original pandemic lockdowns were reaching a peak.

Fentanyl, which is a highly potent opioid, is a major factor.

Dr. Tom Jeanne is OHA's deputy health officer and deputy epidemiologist; he visits with details.

Resources for people who need help:

  • Safe + Strong Oregon Project: online here, on phone at 800-923-4357 (923-HELP).
  • Text 'Recovery Now' to 839863.
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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. John Baxter is the senior producer, Angela Decker is the producer and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.