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by Nathan Yerby ❘  

Opioid Abuse and Drug Trafficking in Montpelier

The opioid epidemic is a major problem in Montpelier and throughout Vermont. Drug overdoses killed 101 Vermonters in 2016 and 104 Vermonters in 2017, and most overdoses involved at least one opioid. Montpelier is the county seat of Washington County, where 11 people suffered a fatal drug overdose in 2017. Heroin and fentanyl are two extremely dangerous opioids which have derailed the lives of Montpelier residents.

According to the Center for Disease Control, using prescription opioids increases the chances that a person will try heroin by 40%, and in 2016, police in Vermont confiscated over 2,000,000 mg of heroin throughout the state. In Vermont, the number of fentanyl overdoses has been rising significantly since 2014. In 2017, fentanyl was the cause of 68 out of the 104 overdose fatalities in Vermont, and the Drug Enforcement Agency expects demand for opioids to increase and cause more fentanyl to be imported into Montpelier. Traffickers are moving other illegal drugs into Montpelier as well. In 2018, Vermont State Police arrested twenty-five people in Washington County for conspiring to distribute cocaine along with heroin.

Marijuana in Montpelier

Marijuana is legal in Vermont for medical and recreational purposes. In Montpelier and throughout the state, adults may possess up to one ounce of marijuana and two mature marijuana plants. There is a limited commercial market for cannabis in Montpelier, and residents are not permitted to smoke marijuana in public or while driving. Although many people believe that marijuana is harmless, marijuana users can develop a psychological dependency on the drug and may begin to experiment with more dangerous substances.

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Progress against Drug Abuse in Montpelier

The people of Montpelier and Vermont have made progress in fighting back against drug abuse in their community. There are many recovery centers located throughout Vermont and there are over 2,500 Vermonters who are receiving professional help in overcoming drug addiction. In fact, the Vermont government has developed a “hub-and-spoke” model whereby people who are addicted to opioids receive psychological support at the recovery centers and medical treatment from a network of doctors and nurses.

Moreover, the police in Vermont have begun to drive people who are living with addiction to treatment facilities rather than sending them to jail. More people are getting treatment for addiction in Montpelier and the number of people who have died from heroin has recently begun to decline. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vermont has a lower rate of fatal drug overdoses than all the other states in New England.

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Finding Help in Montpelier

Treatment centers in Vermont have helped many people reclaim their lives from addiction. If you or someone you know is trying to live a life free from opioids or other addictive substances, contact a dedicated treatment provider today.

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