Learning Through Listening: Native American Issues in Rural Oregon

United States map showing the state of Oregon




Communities Ethnic Studies and Sociology 499/599

The Effects of Drugs in Rural Communities

Being from California drugs are very common in my area and take an impact into the community.  Yet being the community of a large population and growing by the year, the effects of drugs is not as big of an impact as it is in Klamath Falls.


Coming to Corvallis, it was a pretty small town adjusting too compared from back at home, yet Klamath Falls really reaches the definition of Rural Community and having a drug problem definitely puts into affect of the town.  The I-5 is a popular freeway to traffic drugs from places like Mexico all the way to rural areas like Oregon and Washington.


After we interviewed stakeholder Deputy Clinton Wells, he stressed the problem about drugs in rural communities including the city he patrols Klamath Falls and Chiloquin.  One thing he stressed was the popularity of Meth labs in Klamath County and how hard it is to crack down on the labs.  Because of the terrain and so many forests in Klamath, it’s a perfect hideout for Meth labs and it’s difficult for cops like Mr. Wells to patrol.

DSC00371.jpgPicture of the class and Deputy Clinton Wells.


He explained that marijuana, tobacco and Meth are a pretty big problem in the community and it’s not just affecting the adults but also the youth.  Every stakeholder we talked to that dealt with the community said drugs dealing with the youth are a problem in Klamath and Chiloquin.



Here are some things stakeholders stressed about with the problems of drugs and youth

*Dropout rates increase due to drugs

*Violence increases in the community

*Drugs are brought into the schools dealing with problems and influencing other youth

*Lower G.P.A. as a whole in schools

*Problems in the home community and runaway rates go up

*Suicide rates could possibly go up.

Ways to solve drug problems in rural communities


When talking to the stakeholders that dealt with the community, I asked some questions about the strategies they do to lower the problem with drugs in the community and youth.  Yet because there city is small especially Chiloquin, they didn’t have the best resources and abilities to really make an impact than other cities I know could including my own.  Here are something’s I thought they could possibly do to make a difference in the Klamath County.

*Getting the community aware of drug problems so they can put a stop themselves also.

* Making the community recognize the problem and making the problem a goal.

*Cleaning up the streets and possible shutting down business that attract drugs.

*Getting schools to put awareness programs about drugs to stop students from using drugs.

*Stressing parents to teach their children about drugs and the negative sides of it.

*Keep children active with many sports activities so drugs won’t come into mind.

*YMCA or other rec. centers to keep students out of the streets.

DSC00318.jpg  In front of city council which gave us useful information on their community


Types of drugs involved in rural communities.

photo - cocaineCocaine: Cocaine is available throughout Oregon. While the powder form is most prevalent, crack cocaine is found in some urban areas. Mexican traffickers dominate wholesale distribution, transporting the drug from Mexico, California, and other southwestern states. Retail quantities are primarily sold by Mexican drug trafficking organizations, street gangs, prison gangs, and local independent dealers.

photo - opium poppyHeroin: The most common form of heroin encountered in Oregon is Mexican black tar heroin. Mexican drug trafficking organizations primarily control the transportation and distribution of Mexican black tar and brown powdered heroin into and throughout Oregon with Mexican street gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs involved to a lesser extent. Black tar heroin is produced in Mexico and transported from the Southwest Border states directly to Oregon.

photo - methamphetamineMethamphetamine Lab Incidents: 2002=526, 2003=375, 2004=322, 2005=189, 2006=57Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine abuse, trafficking, and manufacturing occur in Oregon. Methamphetamine is one of the most widely abused controlled substances in the state and availability is high. In the past, powder methamphetamine was most common; however, seizures show a switch to the more addictive and potent form of meth referred to as “ice” or “crystal.”

Oregon legislators enacted a number of laws aimed at directly reducing methamphetamine availability and local production. In July 2006, products containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, precursor chemicals used in methamphetamine manufacturing, became Schedule III controlled substances, available only by prescription. In recent years, legislation restricted sales of pseudoephedrine by limiting sales to licensed pharmacies. In addition, pharmacies are required to maintain a log of purchase transactions and keep products behind a pharmacy counter. Reported clandestine laboratory seizures have been declining, and the local drug market has been increasingly supplied with methamphetamine from other southwestern states and Mexico. Mexican drug trafficking organizations dominate the methamphetamine supply in the Pacific Northwest.

photo - ecstasy pillsClub Drugs: MDMA (4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate), Ketamine, and LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) are available in varying quantities and are generally abused at social venues in more populated areas and on college campuses. Club drugs enter Oregon from a variety of sources: MDMA from Canada, Ketamine from Mexico, and GHB and LSD from California. Laboratory seizures indicate some local GHB and LSD production. GHB is also obtained from Internet sources. PCP and Psilocybin mushrooms are generally available on and around cities with a college student population.

photo - marijuana plantMarijuana: Marijuana, the most abused illegal drug in Oregon, is readily available. Its abuse, cultivation, and trafficking are a significant threat. Medical marijuana initiatives within the state have created additional challenges as local producers use these laws to conceal their illegal activity. A signature drive for an initiative that would have made marijuana the lowest law enforcement priority for Portland city police and prosecutors failed to obtain the necessary signatures to put the initiative on the November ballot. Caucasian drug trafficking organizations dominate the transportation and distribution of marijuana.

Info on types of drugs is from this site: http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/states/oregon.html

Other site to look at:






Other Pictures to Look at:

DSC00337.jpg   In front of Klamath County Museum


DSC00354.jpg  Javier asking questions to stakeholders


DSC00364.jpg   Ya boi trynna look focused…..It was a long day


DSC00378.jpg  South Valley Bank…..Check out the snacks



DSC00292.jpg Viewing a sweathouse in the rain

DSC00299.jpg  Goofin on the dam….Poor Gail broke her ankle…

DSC00301.jpg  From left to right: Mike Jones, Gerald, and Homer Simpson

DSC00391.jpg  Me and Mike

DSC00390.jpg  Jason is Juuuuuuiiiiced!!!!!!!