Notes From August 20, 2013 SOS Public Meeting & Info About the Need for an Opioid Clinic

Here are our meeting notes from Tuesday, August 20, 2013:

1.     SOS’ next big PUSH is getting an Opioid Clinic established in Grants Pass, Josephine County; OUR GOAL is to have one established by Late Winter or early Spring.

Toni Webb  is the current Committee Captain; our goal is to have this position filled by two Doctors and have a commitment from one already (Thank you Dr. Liz Hirni!!!); please contact Toni if you wish to join this committee.

Here is Toni most recent e-mail in substance:

We’re going to resume our bi-weekly meetings on Thursday, August 29TH, 5:30pm at the Women’s Center.

We’re going to make a concerted push to get a methadone/suboxone treatment program opened in Josephine County very soon, end of year or first of next year.

Dr. Shawn Sills (Medford), is interested in possibly expanding his pain management practice here, but not a medically-assisted program.

CRC’s plans are on hold, so we need to explore all options in getting local treatment. 

Why is this clinic so important to the Criminal Justice System?

Because we are experiencing an overwhelming increase of crime directly related to people with Opioid addictions who do not want to experience withdrawal symptoms or “GET SICK” so they beg, borrow and/or steal to satisfy their body’s demand for the Opioid.

So what are Opioids?

Opioids are medications that relieve pain. They reduce the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain and affect those brain areas controlling emotion, which diminishes the effects of a painful stimulus. Medications that fall within this class include hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin, Percocet), morphine (e.g., Kadian, Avinza), codeine, and related drugs. Hydrocodone products are the most commonly prescribed for a variety of painful conditions, including dental and injury-related pain. Morphine is often used before and after surgical procedures to alleviate severe pain. Codeine, on the other hand, is often prescribed for mild pain. In addition to their pain-relieving properties, some of these drugs—codeine and diphenoxylate (Lomotil) for example—can be used to relieve coughs and severe diarrhea.

(Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Clinics such as the one we want to establish, assist people by helping them gain control of their addictions with a controlled daily dosage of methadone or suboxone in concert with counseling.

People who have an opioid addiction are unlikely to beat the addiction alone. They need some form of opiate every single day or they will experience horrible withdrawal symptoms or “get sick”. The withdrawal symptoms are bad!


Think about this, we have over 150 known people in Josephine County who make the pilgrimage to Medford every day to the Methadone Clinic there for a daily dosage. There is no such clinic in Josephine County—Nothing to address the 83,000 plus population, some of whom are addicted to opioids. For those that aren’t able to make the pilgrimage or secure legal opioids, the body’s need forces them to get it anyway they can, often times committing crimes. Heroin does the trick. Heroin dealers, mostly addicts themselves, want cash or simple things like laptops, guns, jewelry they can melt down, iPods, things they can get rid of easy in trade in exchange for a dosage or “point”. Going rate is $20 a “point” (.1 gram). How many of you reading this right now have had—or know someone who has had their stolen computer or iPod from your car, gun from your closet, change in your jar traded for a “point”… AND that’s our point.

We need this clinic.

“It’s cheaper for me to buy heroin on the streets in Grants Pass than it is for me to get gas money to go to Medford…” (17 year old female heroin Josephine County heroin addict and somebody’s daughter)

This weekend we will be establishing this Committee’s page for our website; at our next meeting, we will be defining this Committee’s Mission Statement and Goal.

2.    Lottery Committee Refund Research Project

·       Cliff Thomason is the Captain of this Committee; he can be reached by e-mail at

·       Cliff’s Committee consist of Jay MeredithCheri AdkinsToni Webb, and Mark Gatlin

·       We need 1,500 legal petition signatures

·       To Date, we have: 1,037

·       Please come to the Saturday Market or drop by the Post Office in Grants Pass and sign this petition!

·       As a reminder to all petitioners, please ensure that each signature is valid—as best you can—they must be a registered voter—remember, like anything, “Garbage in—garbage out!”; also have all completed petitions to Cliff at next Tuesday’s Meeting! Thank you so much for your service to our community!

·       The Lottery initiative has a Great job Jay Meredith on getting the site up!!!

3.    The Great Debate

·       Matthew Eldridge is the Captain of this Committee; he can be reached by e-mail at

·       This is SOS’ next BIG EVENT

·       WE NEED YOU!

·       The Debate will be on September 17, 2013 at the North Valley High School

·       Amber Garza will be the “Madam of Ceremony”

·       This will be High School Students debating Criminal Justice Funding issues

·       The kids need you! If you have sat back and watched, now it’s time to jump in and do something for our community! HELP! If you would like to help, please contact Matthew at

·       We will be in need of baked goods for this event!

·       Bill West has been helping Matthew raise funds for this event

·       Matthew will be completing the itinerary for the debate and shall have that completed along with the flyer and poster for the event done by this Sunday—to be presented to the group this Tuesday!

·       We want/expect the Governor of Oregon to be in attendance.

4.   Jail/Juvenile Justice Levy Committee

·       Dave Corsi updated us; this committee is Co-Captained by Kris Woodburn ,  Chris Mecca, and Pat Fahey; Committee members include Dave Corsi and Connie Roach; the committee is very near language for a levy measure; the amount is still being determined and will consist of a fully occupied Jail and functioning Juvenile Justice Center; this will be for the May election; if you would like to become part of this committee, please e-mail one of the Co-Captains above or SOS at and express your interest.

5.    Josephine County Fair Report

Dave Daniel, Tom Dorman, Cheri Adkins, Mark Gatlin, Amber Garza, Cliff Thomason, Jennifer Thomason, Jody Nigh, Randy Bennetti, Neal Appleton all received our appreciation for working the booth at the fair! We gathered over 600 signatures and received over 90% positive feedback for the Lottery Initiative as well as for what we are doing for the community! Thanks to all who participated!

6.   SOS Awareness Fall 5K Walk/Run 

Bill West and his team are going to make this an awesome event! I am already fielding calls from the Pear Blossom people in Medford begging Bill and his SOS’ cats to “back off”!

·       The event will be in March of 2014

·       Bill will be soliciting names for the run soon—Board of County Commissioner Cherryl Walker has already proposed “Run for the Law!” versus “Run from the Law!” I personally love it!

·       Next meeting for Bill and his team will be at the Wild River Brew Pub on Monday, September 9, 2013 @ 5:15 PM

7.   SOS Strategic Plan 

Here are the current confirmed SOS Committees and Captains/Committees:

·       Opioid CommitteeToni Webb 

·       Sobering Center CommitteeBill Landis 

·       Hard Rock Mining CommitteeMichael Cope 

·       BioMass CommitteeCheri Adkins

·       Jail/Juvenile Justice Center Tax Levy Research CommitteeKris Woodburn,  Chris Mecca, and Pat Fahey.

·       Lottery Fund CommitteeCliff Thomason

·       Justice of the Peace Court David Corsi 

·       Debate CommitteeMatthew Eldridge 

All of the above Committee Captains are expected to have their SOS website page created. The Committees below have yet to be confirmed as to whether they are still active today:

·      Timber Committee-Jim Frick

·       Sales Tax Committee-Jay Meredith

·       County Property Resource Committee-David Corsi

·       Property Tax Variations-Jeff Wolf

·       Efficiencies/Public and Private Partnerships-Laurie Norman/Toni Webb

·       Trust/Transparency and Education Committee-Bill Ertel/Holly Lidey

·       Refundable Committee-Carl Raskins

Lastly, we discussed a new committee, called “Immediate Change”, where we identify physical things in the city and county, that can potentially be changed relatively immediately via City Council and/or the Board of County Commissioners, to make our community safer: ie., removing steps to nowhere at the 5TH Street Overpass in Grants Pass, that simply allow transient easement to properties along the river; making a city ordinance forbidding growing marijuana in the city limits; requiring everyone, to include transients to register/license their pets; etc.

8.   Hard Rock Mining in Josephine County Jay Meredith discussed the Mining Committee’s application for County Economic Development Fund monies; Committee Captain Michael Cope promised to have the Mining Committee page completed by next Tuesday’s meeting!

9.    Grants Pass Department of Public Safety Levy we spoke briefly why the success of this levy was paramount to the future of our County’s safety.

10.   Justice of the Peace Court “hands down” the most exciting news of the meeting was the presentation by Committee Captain David Corsi regarding future Justice of the Peace Court potentials in Josephine County; David had everyone excited as he will be attending a Seminar relating to Justice of the Peace Courts in early September and will be meeting with Justice of the Peace Court Magistrate to learn about how Josephine County may get a court established soon! One concern is that the court would not be allowed to be in the County Seat of the County (Grants Pass), however, there are 8 exceptions—more to follow! Also, it appears that Josephine County already has the authority to establish such a court, which was apparently created in the early 1990s! This is truly exciting news and again, could potentially surface as a strong “prong” for our Criminal Justice System funding! Awesome job Dave!!!

11.  Sponsor Leader Amber Garza  has agreed to lead the initiative and stitch up all of our sponsors and have them placed onto our SPONSOR page on our website. If you are a sponsor or know someone who is, please contact them and forward their logo to Amber to be posted. It does not cost the sponsor anything to be posted. We are a non-profit organization and it just helps with “knitting together” our community. Amber will be working with Gordon Edstrom, Frank Morin and Jay Meredith.

12.   Website

Gordon Edstrom has been doing a fantastic job with our website! He is assisted by Frank Morin and Jay Meredith; please go to the website and offer us your comments. This truly is YOUR website and we want you to be a part! There will be some really exciting changes forthcoming!!! K. David Smith has been writing excellent articles in the Victim’s Voices of Josephine County, helping victim’s gain closure by telling their stories. Frank Morin will be writing future stories incorporating statistics! Look for his article from info he just received from Sheriff Gilbertson with respect to crime increases in the County, ie., increase in burglaries 1594%!!!

MISSION: “A citizen-voiced plan to provide for a secure, stable and sustainable Josephine County.”

Leave a Reply