A lack of prevention, education and youth addiction programs opened the door to tragedy as dealers added the potent opioid to local drug markets

A student at Harmony Academy, a high school for teens in recovery, told The Lund Report he didn’t realize he was smoking fentanyl until his parent had him tested. He thought the pills he was buying were oxycodone. | EMILY GREEN/THE LUND REPORT


MARCH 7, 2023

When it comes to drug use, Oregon holds an ugly distinction: Its rate of teenagers killed by overdose is growing faster than in any other state.

But where the public sees a rash of depressing headlines, addiction care providers see the culmination of a story that’s been years in the making. As a result of state officials’ long-standing failure to respond to youth drug addiction, fentanyl — the potent opioid that’s driving the skyrocketing death toll — has dealt Oregon a particularly devastating blow.

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