Vermont joins in the drug problem wagon of all the states in America. Being in the 23rd spot in the rank of states with most drug problems, Vermont has a drug problem credit score of 45.77. It means that Vermont is highly fighting the current drug problem with includes abuse of opioids, marijuana, and alcohol.
In the 2016 record, there were 101 opioid-related overdose deaths in Vermont. This information showed a rate of 18.4 deaths per 100,000 people in Vermont. That’s more than the national average of 13.3 deaths per 100,000 people.
One of the commonly abused opioids in Vermont is Fentanyl. This opioid was initially manufactured as a pharmaceutical painkiller to treat pain from conditions like cancer. It’s popular among drug abusers because of its potency and stealth quality.
Recently, the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Vermont has the highest rate of opioid abuse among pregnant women. This data is according to their study in delivery hospitalizations in 28 states in America. If this trend goes on, more babies will be born in Vermont with serious and sometimes fatal health problems as well as the mother.
It’s noted that in 2015, the cases of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) has increased to 50.6 compared to 2014’s rate which is 49.4. This rate is higher compared to the national average.
Another prevalent drug in Vermont is heroin even if it remains well below 1%. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that they found almost 80% of new heroin users in any given year in America and that includes Vermont. Way back in 2014, Vermont was known as ‘America’s Heroin Capital.’ It’s a good thing that the government has gradually addressed the problem and the heroin rate reduced over the next years.
Aside from opioids, there are also other drugs abused in Vermont. There are a significant number of abusers of cocaine, hallucinogens, and inhalants.
Some facilities in Vermont offer treatment programs to abusers. Depending on the type of treatment, teams can be made up of social workers, counselors, doctors, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists or other professionals.
Daniel Franklin, a local of Vermont, opened the new Phoenix Diagnostics Lab in Chittenden County. This facility offers to test drugs and alcohol. It’s a tool for change in the state of Vermont. Vermont leads many terms in coming up with solutions to the opioid epidemic.
Vermont has been assigned a few pilot programs by the federal government. The state is also a leader in resources to fight the opioid crisis. Chittenden County has reduced its waiting times, provided more patient beds, and increased Narcan access. But, these resources seem to only be accessible in more metropolitan areas.
One of the pilot programs Franklin is involved with the new ways to detect fentanyl before people take drugs.