Oregon: Increase in Fentanyl Use

Oregon Experiencing Substantial Increase in Fentanyl Use for 2022

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – May 4, 2022 – A dramatic increase in drug overdose deaths, primarily due to illicit fentanyl, is being reported across the U.S.1 Contributing to these deaths is the proliferation of counterfeit pills often containing fentanyl that are nearly impossible to distinguish from authentic medications.2

According to our real-time analysis of urine drug tests, Oregon has experienced an increase in fentanyl positivity of 58% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to all of 2021, demonstrating an urgent need for education and awareness to protect Oregonians from unintended exposure to fentanyl. The report found:

  • Oregon was 1 of only 4 states with a significant illicit fentanyl increase in March 2022
  • Since 2020, Oregon’s illicit fentanyl positivity has increased 163%
  • Illicit fentanyl detection in those positive for methamphetamine has increased 140% since 2020
  • Four counties have shown dramatic increases in fentanyl positivity for the 12 months ending March 2022, including:
    • Jackson County up 197%
    • Umatilla County up by 88%
    • Lane and Multnomah Counties up nearly 60%

“These increases in fentanyl positivity are especially frightening, as a dose of fentanyl as small as a few grains of salt can result in death,” said Kelly Olson, PhD, Director of Clinical Affairs at Millennium Health. “According to the CDC, last year, Oregon overdose deaths increased 36% compared to a 16% increase nationwide1. Our current Oregon data suggests overdoses may continue to rise in 2022. We have already seen too many Oregon families lose loved ones to fentanyl.”

Additional information regarding real-time illicit drug use trends here.

About Millennium Health

Millennium Health is an accredited specialty laboratory providing medication monitoring via definitive urine and oral fluid drug tests to support improved clinical decision-making as part of treatment for millions of Americans with chronic pain, mental illness, substance use disorders, and other health conditions. Drug testing is used to obtain objective information about patients’ recent use of prescription medications and/or illicit drugs and helps monitor the effectiveness of treatment plans. We also conduct real-time tracking of emerging drug use trends to help researchers, public health officials, and policymakers address the significant increase in drug overdose deaths.

Media Contact
Jody Schneider
Millennium Health
(619) 917-6810



1. Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts. National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm. Accessed April 2022.

2. US Drug Enforcement Administration. One Pill Can Kill. DEA reveals criminal drug networks are flooding the U.S with deadly fentanyl. https://www.dea.gov/onepill. Accessed April 2022.