Most people believe that all Oregonians should have the same opportunities for health. But the reality is that people in small towns and rural places are not enjoying the same benefits or access to care as the rest of the state. As CEO of Adapt, a provider of substance abuse treatment, primary medical care and mental health services in Southern Oregon, I am committed to ensuring the health and well-being of children and adults in our community, especially those affected by substance use and mental health disorders.
With the Jan. 23 vote on Ballot Measure 101 quickly approaching, it is important for voters to understand the devastating impact that a “no” vote will have on our ability to help our family members, friends and neighbors who struggle to cope with addiction and mental illness. Potential negative impacts of a “no” vote include:
- Treatment for pregnant women to prevent alcohol and drug-affected births would be reduced or eliminated, and treatment services for new parents and families would be in peril.
- Crisis services that support individuals and families when they are experiencing a mental health emergency would be cut drastically or eliminated, shifting care to emergency rooms, homeless shelters and jails.
- Mental health and substance abuse treatment services provided to local school districts will be cut, and residential treatment services for young people with substance abuse problems will suffer.
- Alcohol and drug abuse treatment services designed to break the cycle of addiction and incarceration will be cut, thus increasing the burden on local law enforcement and courts.
- More people die each day from drug overdose than car crashes and gun violence combined. Adapt, working with Umpqua Health Alliance, now offers vital services for young people and adults who struggle with addiction to pain medications and other opioids. Those services would be dramatically reduced if Ballot Measure 101 fails.
- Foster care rates have increased dramatically in Douglas County and statewide, largely due to substance abuse and mental health problems in the home. Adapt works with the local Kids in Common Collaborative and the Oregon Department of Human Services-Child Welfare Program to provide treatment and support to restore individual and family health and stability. If Ballot Measure 101 fails, vital services to reunite families may be substantially diminished or even eliminated.
A “yes” vote on Ballot Measure 101 will ensure that all Oregonians — including many of our own family members, friends and neighbors — have the health care they need to achieve and maintain wellness. When we support the health and well-being of every member of our community, we help our entire community thrive and remain vibrant.
Please join me in voting “yes” on Ballot Measure 101.