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Oregon

Oregon was the first state in the United States to decriminalize the possession of a small amount of marijuana, effectively allowing users to feel that smoking marijuana is not only acceptable but legal. This state was also the first to authorize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Between 1999 and 2005, Oregon residents using marijuana outnumbered the general United States population by anywhere from 32%-45%! A study from 2003-2004 showed that the state ranked among the top five states for marijuana usage of persons 12 or older. In 2006, Oregon was known as one of the largest cannabis producing states; ranking forth in indoor production and tenth overall. 2007-2008 saw Oregon rank first among all other states for drug use in multiple categories: past-month use of illicit drugs other than marijuana among persons age 12-17; past-year non-medical use of pain relievers among young adults age 18-25; and past-month illicit drug use among persons age 26 and older. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that an estimated 12% of Oregon residents reported past-month use of illicit drugs. The national average at the time of the survey was 8%. Additionally, 5.51% of Oregon residents reported using an illicit drug other than marijuana in the past month (the national average was 3.58%).Drug induced deaths in this state exceed that national average. Oregon drug-induced deaths (15.1 per 100,000 population) exceeded the national rate (12.7 per 100,000). 2007 saw 564 people die as a direct consequence of drug use, abuse or addiction problems. This is compared to the number of persons in Oregon who died from motor vehicle accidents (490) and firearms (387) in the same year.

While marijuana has been decriminalized and medical programs created, it was the number one most commonly cited drug among drug rehab admissions in Oregon during 2010. Following marijuana among cited drugs listed by drug rehab admissions include stimulants, heroin, other opiates, cocaine, sedatives, other/unknown, hallucinogens, inhalants, tranquilizers and PCP. The residents of Oregon, while enjoying more freedom when it comes to marijuana laws, find that the drug is still creating issues and leading to addiction problems. 'Drug rehab programs are a key part of an addicted person’s recovery process. Drug addiction affects the user’s work, home life, social life health and finances. What was once an occasional indulgence becomes a way of life and all consuming. The purpose of drug rehab is to not only help the addicted person get off drugs, but to help them gain control back over themselves and their lives. Rehab programs work to uncover underlying issues that drove the drug addict to choose drugs as a way to solve their problems instead of handling them in a more healthy and productive manor. Recovery is an ongoing process. The skills one learns while attending drug treatment centers must be integrated into everyday life and this takes time. Though there are a variety of different types of treatment available, all must include strategies for keeping the person in treatment, skills to help the individual handle everyday situations that may cause trouble once they have completed the program and guidance and counseling towards understanding the individual's initial reasons for drug addiction.