Addiction is a health issue that deserves a health-based response

Dr. Donald E. Girard, left, and Dr. Kelsi Manley.

Substance use disorders and addiction have been recognized as health conditions by the American Medical Association for more than 30 years, but in Oregon we still treat addiction as a crime.

Oregon is in the midst of a drug addiction crisis that is killing people every day. As medical doctors, we are on the front lines of this epidemic. We see how addiction wreaks havoc on our patients' physical health, mental well-being and the ability to live full, meaningful lives.