Portland's 'inhumane' plan to end homelessness, addiction

Portland's 'inhumane' plan to end homelessness, addiction

Portland's 'inhumane' plan to end homelessness, addiction

A local drug counselor is among the many who can't see any benefits to giving drug supplies to homeless addicts.

As a new alternative approach to handling the issue of public drug use, Oregon's Multnomah County has decided to give smoking supplies to homeless fentanyl addicts instead of providing treatment.

According to Jessica Guernsey, Multnomah County's public health director, the health department handouts are part of the county's harm reduction efforts, a strategy that provides drug users with education and supplies like clean needles, pipes, and overdose-reversing naloxone.

"The new part of the program is that we're adding supplies for people who smoke drugs," she told KOIN 6. "We've seen a shift from injection drug use to smoking drug use, so that we can engage people who may not otherwise engage in services."

But not everyone sees this effort in that positive light. Some citizens are outraged by the downfall of their city and their businesses, and they foresee how this plan will harm homeless victims.

In a recent interview with Fox News, Kevin Dahlgren, a drug counselor and activist, stated that he is frustrated that after never having a true plan to end homelessness, now the county it will enable the homeless to inevitably kill themselves.

"This is now their plan: Let's just let them all die," he lamented.

Dahlgren, Kevin (drug counselor) Dahlgren

"This is just shocking. This is the deadliest drug in history, and now we're giving them the means to kill themselves faster," the drug counselor continued. "These harm reduction clinics … don't actually offer help, and that's their justification for doing this -- that we'll have more interaction and contact with them. But the fact is they don't offer services; they just encourage the use. This is just completely inhumane."

Portland's liberal mayor, Ted Wheeler (D), agrees that supplying drugs to the homeless is dangerous for the individuals and for the community. He has encouraged the county to provide treatment facilities instead of enabling the epidemic.