Funded by Care Oregon, responders will connect revived opioid overdosers to a free prescription source of Suboxone, common opioid currency on the street, the practice predictably worsening opioid overdose and deaths in other locales

by Clark Miller

Published February 16, 2024

As Portland declares a state of emergency due to skyrocketing opioid overdose deaths – those deaths predicted and predictable due to lack of any available treatments in Oregon for compulsive substance use –  Oregon’s healthcare experts and  Medicaid administrators (Care Oregon coordinated care organization, CCO) have a plan. First responders will attempt to supply high-risk opioid users, post-overdose, with free supplies of the failed doctor-dispensed  substitute opioid Suboxone established as lacking beneficial treatment effect; as fueling and worsening the lethal epidemic; and as functioning as street currency for fentanyl and other illicit opioids (descriptions here, and here, and here scroll down to “The bupe economy”).

What could go wrong?

A 2022 study based out of Camden, New Jersey found when emergency responders equipped with buprenorphine responded to overdoses, those patients were six times more likely to engage in opioid use disorder treatment within 30 days. The study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine also notes that people who get buprenorphine immediately after an overdose are less likely to use emergency department resources. But buprenorphine-equipped ambulances did not significantly decrease repeat overdoses “in either the immediate 24 hours or 7 days,” according to the study. That’s not what researchers said they expected and called for further study.

[emphasis added]

The OPB report neglects to mention that the  buprenorphine, ‘bupe”, users will be hooked up with is among the most common drugs traded on the street, currency for fentanyl and other high-risk drugs, plentiful and cheap. But even better when that currency for “real dope” is free.  

In the similar program in New Jersey, it was “not what researchers expected” for the free, doctor-dispensed opioid to have no positive treatment outcomes.

It is exactly what was expected by any adult mind paying attention to American Medicine’s increasingly lethal opioid crisis.

As were the results, explained here, in Escambia County, Florida, where similarly EMS staff successfully inducted overdosers into MAT programming, with a supply of free “bupe”, and with a 19 percent increase in opioid overdose EMS calls the following year. 

Expected as well in North Carolina, where beginning in 2018 EMT responders began transporting opioid overdose subjects to “rehab” over a period when buprenorphine MAT services were rapidly expanding for Medicaid and uninsured persons.  

Predictably, with increased dispensing of the street currency for illicit opioids of abuse, opioid overdose visits to EDs mounted over the ensuing years. 

And as predictable in Houston, Texas, where beginning in 2017 paramedics, outreach workers, others worked post-overdose with high-risk opioid users to connect them to Suboxone provided through a MAT program. Over the years 2018 to 2023, lethal opioid overdoses per 100,000 persons in the area  approximately doubled. 

Four similar programs, in 

New Jersey

Escambia County, Florida

North Carolina

Houston, Texas

each with the predictably lethal outcomes. 


As have been worsened opioid crisis outcomes driven by Medicaid expansion used to dispense more of the proven, addiction treatment medications,  based on state-by-state and within-state comparisons. 

One day soon, American Medicine’s proven, gold standard, life-saving addiction treatment medicines will begin working and solve the opioid crisis, certainly. 

Or they’ll stop lying to you. 

They will, won’t they? 

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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