Vermont invests in fighting opioid epidemic as overdoses reach new high

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 4:43 PM EDT
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BARRE, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and health care officials gathered in Barre on Thursday to discuss the state’s newest investments in fighting the opioid epidemic in the Green Mountain State.

According to the Department of Health, in 2021, Vermont saw the highest number of overdoses to date with 215.

In response, the state has allocated $9 million on top of other funding just this year toward education, prevention, treatment and recovery efforts.

Health officials say some of that funding has gone toward recovery housing and employment and addressing harm reduction.

“It’s important we approach this from all angles, which is why this new funding covers prevention, treatment and recovery. We can’t just focus on one area or one tool because it’s just not going to give us the results we need and expect,” said Scott, R-Vermont.

Through the expanded education surrounding opioids, health officials say it’s important to start small in order to test the strength of the drugs, to carry fentanyl test strips and to never use alone.

The governor says another area the state is investing in is enforcement by cutting off the supply of lethal drugs.