Addiction has the power to control lives. "I've been smoking for 14 years," said Lance Bartlett. He says his smoking led to alcoholism... and then to drugs. "Moved up to prescription pills and heroin."
He's now a volunteer at The Turning Point, a center offering recovery support for addicts. He's been in and out of treatment centers for years and says being able to keep smoking helped him get through rehab for other drugs. But soon, smoking will no longer be an option for recovering addicts. The state wants to ban tobacco at treatment centers. "What we're looking to do is have, having the treatment providers that provide substance abuse treatment implement tobacco-free campus policies," said Vermont Department of Health Deputy Commissioner Barbara Cimaglio.
The health department is making programs like Quit Tobacco available to patients who need help quitting. Employees at treatment centers will also receive training to help with the transition. "The reality is more people with addiction die from tobacco and the related diseases than they do from alcohol or drugs," Cimaglio said.
Other states, including New York, have had similar policies in place for years. But some recovering addicts think the new policy may stop others from seeking help."Your brain is just telling you its the one thing that you can do and when you're taking away one thing, it's hard to take away two at the same time," said Christine Erickson. The Turning Point volunteer was a patient at Maple Leaf Farm for alcohol addiction and has been clean for 2 months, but she says she wouldn't have made it through without cigarettes. "And if that were not possible, I would be more on the delaying side of getting help in all honesty," she said.
But officials at centers like Maple Leaf are confident patients will make a smooth transition. "I think it's one of those things that you monitor. If it shows an adverse result, then you reconsider the policy, but I'm not convinced that that will not happen," said the organization's Executive Director Bill Young.
And it's not just patients -- employees at treatment centers will also have to give up tobacco. "Our smoking staff says we should be smoke-free, so they're pretty clear about it," Young said.
Monday, March 10 2014 10:02 AM EDT2014-03-10 14:02:49 GMT
The spring issue of "4 Legs & a Tail" has hit news stands. Stories include getting your pet adjusted to a new baby, advice on keeping pets safe during golf season and Vermont's first Dog and Pony Show.More >>
The spring issue of "4 Legs & a Tail" has hit news stands. Editor Tim Hoehn visited the Morning Show to share a few of the cover stories that might interest pet lovers.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 9:58 AM EDT2014-03-10 13:58:30 GMT
A well-known Vermont judge has passed away.According to the Vermont Standard Judge Franklin Billings Jr., died Sunday morning. Billings was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1960, quicklyMore >>
Judge Franklin Billings Jr., died Sunday morning.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 9:36 AM EDT2014-03-10 13:36:39 GMT
Chef Courtney Contos of Contos Store and Kitchen in Shelburne gave us her mom's homemade soda bread recipe. This Irish treat is just in time for St. Patrick's Day. Try your hand at it. Mom's Irish SodaMore >>
Chef Courtney Contos of Contos Store and Kitchen in Shelburne gave us her mom's homemade soda bread recipe. This Irish treat is just in time for St. Patrick's Day. Try your hand at it.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:43:23 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:56:33 GMT
Flags were flying on the Statehouse steps Sunday afternoon as more than 500 people gathered for the Gun Owners of Vermont Rally."Vermonters -- not just hunting Vermonters who happen to have firearms forMore >>
A trio of gun control measures may have gotten the green light from Burlington voters on Town Meeting Day, but the charter changes face strong opposition across the state, and a possible uphill battle at the Statehouse.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:43 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:43:32 GMT
Is the marketing behind Electronic Cigarettes aimed at kids?New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) says the industry's trendy packaging and flavors like bubble gum and cotton candy aren't foolingMore >>
Schumer is co-sponsoring a Senate bill that would ban e-cigarette marketing aimed at kids.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:42 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:42:02 GMT
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.Members of the so-called Senate Climate Action Task Force -- nearly two dozen in allMore >>
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.More >>