Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Neighborhood Involvement

Building inclusive, safe and livable neighborhoods and communities.

ONI Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

The epidemic in our midst: Painkillers, opioids and heroin

Media contacts: Christine Anderson, Hazelden, 651-213-4231,

In Oregon: 24/7 Mara Woloshin, 503-310-4504,; Jean Kempe-Ware, 503-475-8989,

The epidemic in our midst:

Painkillers, opioids and heroin

A free community conversation sponsored by the Center for Public Advocacy, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

What: Learn why opioid addiction has soared to epidemic proportions. A panel of experts will present the latest information about Oregon’s opioid crisis and discuss strategies to overcome this public health epidemic.


When: Thursday, Oct. 2, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.


Where: Oregon Health & Science University Old Library Auditorium, 3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland


Cost: Free. Event sponsored by the Center for Public Advocacy, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

Why: Oregon leads the nation in abuse of painkillers!

· Prescription drug abuse is 39 percent higher than the national average.

· In 2013, doctors prescribed opioids to almost 1 in 4 Oregonians.

· From 2000 to 2013, the death rate from opioid overdose quadrupled. *

Who: Leaders from law enforcement, public health, addiction treatment as well as a mother whose son is in recovery from addiction.

· Julie Edwards, president and co-founder, West Linn Community Task Force, a nonprofit focusing on drug-free youth, and parent of a son in recovery from opioid addiction.

· Marvin D. Seppala, M.D., chief medical officer, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, and the author of “When Painkillers Become Dangerous.”

· Andrew Mendenhall, M.D., medical director, Hazelden in Beaverton, diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management.

· Kim Mauer, M.D., OHSU, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, who was a pain research fellow at Stanford University.

· Sean Riley, founder and president, Safe Call Now, a 24-hour crisis referral service.

· Dwight Holton, J.D., chief medical officer, Lines for Life, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing substance abuse and suicide.

To RSVP: Register at or call Kristen Nieman, 503-554-4324.

About the Center for Public Advocacy at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

As the leading voice related to addiction and recovery, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and its Center for Public Advocacy applies the nation’s most extensive expertise and knowledge to shape public opinion, support those who need treatment and resources for their recovery, and change public policy.

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. It is the nation’s largest nonprofit treatment provider with a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center. With 15 sites in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Colorado and Texas, the Foundation offers prevention and recovery solutions nationwide and across the entire continuum of care to help youth and adults reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. It includes the largest recovery publishing house in the country, a fully accredited graduate school of addiction studies, an addiction research center, an education arm for medical professionals and a unique children’s program, and is the nation’s leader in advocacy and policy for treatment and recovery. Learn more at

About Oregon Health & Science University

Oregon Health & Science University is a nationally prominent research university and Oregon’s only public academic health center. Its hospitals and clinics serve more than a quarter-of-a-million patients every year with innovative care and treatment models based on the latest knowledge available. OHSU brings together patient care, research education of the next generation of health care providers and scientists and community service to improve the health and well being of all Oregonians.

*Note: Statistics are from the Trust for America’s Health, the Oregon Health Authority and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, SAMHSA