SALEM, Ore — Nearly 100 Oregonians rallied outside the state Capitol on Wednesday for better addiction and recovery treatment options across the state.
"I'd love to see quicker access," said Faye Cooper a recovering addict. "More beds available to those that need them, and more support for culturally specific programs."
Oregon currently has the second-highest untreated addiction rate in the country. The state also ranks last in the nation in providing addiction treatment access.
"This is day three in detox right now (for my son) from the drugs," said Jessica Mccurdy a recovering addict.
Mccurdy shares with KGW that her son, Camron, is in treatment right now. He's been struggling with addiction since he was 17 — he is now 23. She said it’s been anything but easy finding an open bed for her son.
“When somebody is ready to get sober and clean, it's the gift of desperation we talk about," said Mccurdy. "And that could be minutes or even hours, so we need to have access to a place for us to go when we are struggling and when we need it and when we want to get help that moment."
But it's not as easy as it sounds. Many people seeking treatment wait weeks for a bed to open up. State representatives are hoping for that to change soon.
"My plan for the future of course is to assure that we put significant resources into mental health services, into addiction services that we plan for the future that we make sure that anyone who is struggling now and in the future will have an opportunity to get the services they need," said Oregon Rep. Tawna Sanchez.
Sanchez says she is 48 years sober and once dreamed of an uplifting community like Oregon recovering during her journey. She's determined to make a change and support those seeking sobriety, as is Oregon Senator Mark Meek.
“Because Oregon should be about every individual having the chance to see their best self," said Meek.
Oregon Recover’s next scheduled event is “Walk 4 Recovery.” It’s set for Saturday, Sep. 24 at 10:00 a.m. in Portland.