Investigative news report: in Oregon, no evidence-based drug treatment available or funded, instead Measure 110 insider scam diverts public funds to cronyism sham treatment system

by Clark Miller

Published March 19, 2023

The investigation and analysis comes from this report –

Many Oregon voters may have misunderstood or been misled about what the funding from the state’s landmark drug decriminalization law, Measure 110, would cover, a KATU investigation has found.

. . . During the campaign, voters were told Measure 110 would provide millions of dollars for Oregon’s treatment and recovery systems

 . . . One ad from the campaign said Measure 110 “replaces criminalization with treatment” and “funds treatments using existing marijuana dollars.” Another said, “110 expands access to life-saving drug treatment.”

. . . “They told the voters that it was going to pay for treatment with the understanding […] that the traditional understanding of ‘treatment’ was residential treatment and detox,” said Mike Marshall, the director and founder of Oregon Recovers – an advocacy group for people in recovery.

Instead, the program pays mostly for services for people already in recovery or waiting for treatment.

It covers housing support, job training, peer support and mentoring, harm reduction (basically making using drugs less dangerous), and low-barrier treatment (such as medication to help someone battling opioid addiction.)


Reality check. 

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment (“rehab”), comprising the standard treatment approaches, or “treatment as usual” (TAU) for addiction in Oregon and America is established as a criminal scam functioning to provide profits to the industry and monthly stipends to employees not remotely qualified or capable of providing any type of effective, evidence-based therapies for psychological/behavioral conditions, let alone for the life-threatening, complex state of needs driving compulsive substance use.  

That is to say, gold standard, addiction “treatment” available in Oregon and elsewhere, assured to be effective by consensus of America’s expert class and conveyed to trusting, vulnerable Oregonians trapped in increasingly lethal epidemics, is comprised of failed, sham cronyism systems that predict harm and have taken Oregonians to the lethal bottom

Rehab. Here

It is not treatment. 

“What we simply need is a a nice bulldozer, so that we could level the entire industry and start from scratch . . . There’s no such thing as an evidence-based rehab. That’s because no matter what you do, the concept of rehab is flawed and unsupported by evidence.” 

– Dr. Mark Willenbring, former director of treatment and recovery research at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)


Detox (detoxification) is a time-limited provision of support (days to a week or so at most) of medical attention to ensure safety and relieve distress of the experience of withdrawal symptoms when use of some mood-altering substances is stopped. 

It is not treatment. 

It is important for cases of severe, longstanding alcohol or benzodiazepine misuse, the withdrawal symptoms of which can be lethal. It does not always require inpatient stay. 

Withdrawal from opioid use is unpleasant, not lethal, as problem users know, typically having experienced withdrawal (been “dopesick”) repeatedly. It is not a significant reason opioid users often do not stop use. “Relapse” (return to a prior pattern of problem use) simply does not work that way.  

Social detox” refers commonly to types of psychosocial supports that can be provided over a period of provision of detox services and potentially include a trained professional helping with access to evidence-based treatment, services and resources effective for overcoming problem substance use and, more importantly, psychotherapy interactions that are motivating for change. It potentially is transformative and life-saving. 

That type of social detox is not provided or available in Oregon or America, is not part of available services, requiring provision by competent, trained mental health professionals. 

The type of social detox provided, when available, predictably increases risk of relapse and death, provided by individuals without appropriate training or competence and aimed at shepherding vulnerable individuals in detox services – with their healthcare dollars – into the lethal treatment systems that are available  as standard treatment in Oregon and elsewhere, that have taken Oregon to the lethal bottom

People on insurance

are lucky. 

Even luckier if against all odds, against expert and medical advice, anomalously, they choose to access actual, evidence-based treatment for the compulsive behavior of problem substance use – psychotherapy and associated supports – covered by their insurance. 

In these very rare cases and if their primary insurance is not adequate to cover the services, they would be luckier still if extra funds, from Measure 110 public resources or elsewhere, would provide the support to make real treatment affordable. 

Almost entire population

accurately describes the U.S. populace in desperate need of publicly funded evidence-based prevention and treatment services for compulsive problem use of mood-altering substances. 

Because that does not exist. 

Oregon had a chance to move away from decades of sham treatment systems predicting harm and death and begin to move toward systems capable of providing those evidence-based treatments, had a chance and the mandate from Measure 110 voters. Voters ultimately betrayed by their trust in political leaders and a constructed expert class. 


Housing, like job training, can be a critically important support for someone engaging in real treatment for problem substance use and motivated for change. And like job training, the benefits from secure, adequate housing reduces day-to-day stressors and discomforts that can generate or worsen inner states (anxiety, desperation, anger) increasing risk of problem use of mood-altering substances. 

And as with job training, the deeper, primary benefits and protective factors are psychological. Safe, secure housing is able to profoundly moderate fearfulness and other inner states tied to the histories of trauma, other adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and adult traumas that are almost invarialbly at the root of problem substance use.  

Sober housing” and other forms of group housing for and with others working to end problem substance use, like inpatient treatment and other forms of traditional treatment, is a well documented (e.g., here, and here) criminal scam predicting harm and more deaths in America’s predictably worsening epidemics. Mandatory programming at these group-living settings invariably includes the standard, established-as-countertherapeutic prescriptions of a religious subculture that predicts harm and return to problem substance use. 

In Oregon that predatory system – its religious corecion and violation of patient constitutional rights, the associated outcomes predicting relapse and more deaths – is funded with public healthcare money and support by the State, through its managed care Coordinated Care Organizations, like Care Oregon

It is not treatment. 

Job training

Job training, it turns out, is a valuable and effective component of the supports often needed with psychotherapy in the treatment of compulsive problem substance use. 

It is not treatment. 

The value comes partly by providing income that protects against material deprivation and stressors (triggers for negative inner states and compulsion to alter mood), but primarily from the psychotherapeutic value -reinforced experientially – of the psychological needs critical to success in overcoming self-defeating inner states typically contributing to drive use of mood-altering substances: the therapeutic value of gains in self-efficacy, sense of competence, of autonomy and independence

Essentially the opposites of being inculcated with a sense of powerlessness, of driven by defects of character, of having a life-long disease of the brain

Peer support

Peer support”  provided by “peer support specialists” aka “peer mentors” are euphimistic titles applied to vulnerable individuals encouraged to believe that because they have struggled with (and continue to as individuals “in recovery” from the lifelong brain disease of “addiction“) problem substance use are somehow qualified to provide support or beneficial interventions to others in their position, without any meaningful training or capacity to provide benefit of any type

Their true, demonstrable role is to shepherd vulnerable individuals at risk of death into the lethal, profitable systems described above, predicting continuously worsening substance use crises

That role, in the cronyism system branded as  “treatment” services in Oregon, was protected shortly after passage of Measure 110, in closed-door meetings betraying voters and orchestrated by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) in which  peer members of that cronyism system replaced qualified mental health professionals in the planned process for therapeutic services under Measure 110.  

Peer support, funded by Oregonians’ public healthcare resources, is lethal. 

It is not treatment. 

Harm reduction

Harm reduction encompasses disparate areas of supports and interventions tending to be medical or public health in nature and ranging from opioid substitution treatment (OST) to clean needle exchanges, to rapidly expanding campaigns to increase availability and use of opioid overdose death preventing naloxone (Narcan). 

Use of naloxone saves lives, a good thing. 

And its rapidly increasing use, moderating prevalence of lethal overdose:

masks the continuously mounting levels of high-risk opioid use and potential for lethality, especially as synthetic and other new street drugs come into the mix, challenging revivals

shifts resources and focus away from the established causes of high-risk opioid use and need for focus on prevention and real treatment

provides opportunity for America’s medical/research collusion to ignore the obvious confounding factor of increasing naloxone saves to convey lethal public health disinformation 

Harm reduction is not treatment or prevention.

It is integral to the concept of low-barrier treatment. 

Low-barrier treatment

Low-barrier treatment” is most commonly meant to describe the practice of easing requirements and others challenges to immediate access to medication assisted treatment (MAT) – the dispensing of the addictive, diverted, controlled opioids methadone and Suboxone (buprenorphine) established as serving as commodity and currency in street economies of illicit, high-risk opioid use,  fueling America’s increasingly deadly, iatrogenic opioid crisis

That is to say, it is the lethal application of medical understanding and practice to the non-medical condition of compulsive substance use, with predictable outcomes. 

woman shrugging, indicating uncertainty

Your system is a lie,

funded or unfunded.

Oregon drug users know that, from experience. 

Oregonians deserve better, deserve what they voted for. 

At Twitter – 

Tweet image

Why A Critical Discourse?

Because an uncontrolled epidemic of desperate and deadly use of pain-numbing opioid drugs is just the most visible of America’s lethal crises of drug misuse, suicide, depression, of obesity and sickness, of social illness. Because the matrix of health experts and institutions constructed and identified by mass media as trusted authorities – publicly funded and entrusted to protect public health – instead collude to fabricate false assurances like those that created an opioid crisis, while promising medical cures that never come and can never come, while epidemics worsen. Because the “journalists” responsible for protecting public well-being have failed to fight for truth, traded that duty away for their careers, their abdication and cowardice rewarded daily in corporate news offices, attempts to expose that failure and their fabrications punished.

Open, critical examination, exposure, and deconstruction of their lethal matrix of fabrications is a matter of survival, is cure for mass illness and crisis, demands of us a critical discourse.

Crisis is a necessary condition for a questioning of doxa, but is not in itself a sufficient condition for the production of a critical discourse.

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