Leading Health Nonprofits Launch Five-Year Advocacy Campaign to Transform Oregon's Addiction Treatment System
A new coalition — sponsored by large Oregon health nonprofits and led by top political operatives who are in recovery — is launching an advocacy campaign called Oregon Recovers by building a giant mountain of shoes in downtown Portland.
Each shoe will be labeled with the name of someone who has been lost to addiction, a symbolic reminder of the state's failure to address its runaway addiction crises. Oregon ranks last in the country in access to mental health and addiction treatment.
“Enough is enough,” said Brent Canode, chair of Oregon Recovers. “The people of Oregon—especially our kids—deserve better than this. It’s time for a recovery revolution.” Canode recently celebrated 13 years of long-term recovery.
WHAT/WHEN/WHERE: Rally for Recovery, Saturday, Sept. 30 at 10 a.m. in Shemanski Park, 1010 S.W. Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205.
The shoes will be dumped in lawmakers’ offices in Salem near the start of the legislative session. The campaign is designed to dramatically improve access to addiction, treatment and recovery services in Oregon.
As part of the launch of the campaign, Gov. Kate Brown will issue a statement about the need to transform how we think about addiction. Several top lawmakers and high-profile recovery leaders, some with dramatic stories about how their lives have been affected by addiction, will be available to talk to media about their experiences with recovery, including:
· Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend).
· Rep. Tawna Sanchez (D-Portland)
· Deborah Kafoury (Chair, Multnomah County Commission)
· Eric Bloch (Multnomah County Judge; Chair, Oregon Alcohol & Drug Policy Commission)
· Senator Lew Frederick (D-Portland)
· William Moyer (national recovery leader; bestselling author; son of journalist Bill Moyer).
More than 1,300 people have RSVP’d to attend, and many everyday people will also be available to tell stories about their struggles with addiction.
The coalition is being directed by Mike Marshall, who led Oregon’s successful marriage equality campaign and Gov. John Kitzhaber’s successful re-election campaign. Marshall is the former executive director of the City Club of Portland and in recovery for over nine years.
“We don’t need to merely fix our current system,” Marshall said. “We need to replace it. Addiction is a chronic, progressive disease that I understand first hand. Treating it shouldn’t involve building and filling more prisons; it should involve a comprehensive prevention, treatment and recovery system.”
Founding sponsors of the 5-year campaign include some of the top health organizations in the state:
· Kaiser Permanente
· Trillium Family Services
· Central City Concern
· Lines for Life
· Alano Club of Portland
· African American Behavioral Healthcare & Addiction Treatment Coalition,
· Oregon Prevention, Education & Recovery Association (OPERA)
· Northwest Instituto Latino de Adicciones.
· Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon (ACCBO)
· Miracles Club
· 4th Dimension Recovery Center
· Bridges to Change
· Empowerment Clinic
In Oregon, about 1 in 10 people are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Taxpayers are paying for the state’s high addiction rate, losing roughly $6 billion a year because of it. For comparison, that’s about 10 times as much as Oregon collects each year in lottery ticket sales.
Oregon Recovers is an inclusive statewide coalition comprised of people in recovery–and their friends and family—uniting to transform Oregon health care to ensure world-class prevention, treatment and recovery support services for Oregonians suffering from the disease of addiction. Oregon Recovers mission for the next five years is to move Oregon from last to first in access to addiction treatment and recovery support services.
More info: www.OregonRecovers.org.