I read on Oregon recriminalises drug possession after overdoses rocket that:

The law rolls back an experimental policy [Measure 110] - the most liberal drug measure in the US - that made possession for personal use a ticketed offence with a fine up to $100 (£76). [...] Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told the New York Times: "The truth is that addiction rates and overdose rates skyrocketed."

I wonder if addiction rates and overdose rates skyrocketed because of Measure 110 or because of nation-wide concurrent drug trends (e.g., fentanyl). Did addiction rates and overdose rates skyrocketed more in Oregon than in the rest of the US?


1 Answer 1


Addiction rates and overdose rates didn't skyrocket more in Oregon than in the rest of the US because of Measure 110, according the JAMA study {1}:

The findings of this study suggest that legal changes to remove or decrease criminal penalties for drug possession are not associated with the fatal drug overdose rate 1-year post implementation; further research is needed to examine the medium- and long-term consequences of these legal changes.


  • {1} Joshi S, Rivera BD, Cerdá M, et al. One-Year Association of Drug Possession Law Change With Fatal Drug Overdose in Oregon and Washington. JAMA Psychiatry. 2023;80(12):1277–1283. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2023.3416

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