Gov. Brown signs executive order and bills on addiction

Kate Brown (KATU News photo)

Following an earlier promise, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed two bills and an order setting new deadlines for a state drug policy commission dogged by staffing and other issues.

The order, which Brown signed Tuesday in Portland, declares addiction to be a public health crisis in the state and sets a timeline for the Oregon Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission to deliver a plan to combat the problem. Brown had announced the order, which includes several intermediary deadlines and a 2020 due date, in February.

The move is the latest in a long effort to address substance abuse through the commission, which has struggled with staffing issues and cancelled meetings.

Two bills, also signed Tuesday, cover similar ground and require studying barriers to addiction treatment. A report is due by June 30.

Brown signed those bills while at Lines for Life in Portland.

Jon Addis, a volunteer for Lines for Life, said he's been battling opiate addiction for decades. He hopes the bills set up the support that he felt was hard to find.

"Addiction is about isolation, and recovery is about connection," he said. "And when I'm in treatment, I learn to make connections that help me maintain recovery."

He hopes the bills can fund programs like addiction recovery mentors.

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