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YCQM March 3, 2019

(WCAX)
Published: Mar. 3, 2019 at 3:29 PM EST
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>> Announcer: FROM WCAX, THIS IS

"YOU CAN QUOTE ME.">> Céline: THANKS FOR JOINING US

FOR THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF "YOU

CAN QUOTE ME."

I'M CELINE McARTHUR.

>> Galen: AND I'M GALEN ETTLIN.

WE'RE DIGGING DEEPER INTO

VERMONT'S OPIOID CRISIS AND THE

IMPACT IT'S HAVING ON MOTHERS

AND THEIR BABIES.

>> A 24-YEAR-OLD WOMAN ADDICTED

A HEROIN, LOCKED UP, SCARED, AND

NINE MONTHS PREGNANT.

>> I'VE BEEN CRYING FOR DAYS.

I CAN'T STOP.

>> HER FAMILY DESPERATE TO HOLD

ON TO HER SECOND BABY BORN

DEPENDENT ON DRUGS.

>> WANT TO GET CUSTODY OF THE

BABY.

>> IT'S GOING TO TEAR HER APART.

>> Céline: MIRANDA SEVERE ISN'T

ALONE.

THE NUMBER OF WOMEN IN THE U.S.

GIVING BIRTH ADDICTED TO OPIOIDS

MORE THAN QUADRUPLED BETWEEN

1999 AND 2014.

>> Galen: THE CDC HAS VERMONT

HAS THE HIGHEST RATE, NEARLY 49

CASES FOR EVERY 1,000 BABIES

BORN.

>> Céline: THE VERMONT

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DISPUTED

THAT, CLAIMING 28 CASES FOR

EVERY THOUSAND BIRTHS, WHICH IS

DOWN FROM 2015.

>> Galen: EITHER WAY, VERMONT IS

ABOVE THE NATIONAL TREND AND

THIS PUTS A HUGE BURDEN ON THE

STATE'S WELFARE SYSTEM.

>> Céline: THE NUMBER OF

CHILDREN UNDER 3 IN THE CARE OF

DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND

FAMILIES HAS INCREASED EVERY

YEAR SINCE 2012.

>> THEY HAVE AN INCREDIBLY

DIFFICULT JOB.

I THINK WHEN YOU TALK TO ANY

PRACTITIONER IN THE FAMILY COURT

SYSTEM, THEY FEEL OVERWHELMED

RIGHT NOW.

IT'S A SYSTEM THAT IS DEFINITELY

OVERWORKED AND IT IS AN

INCREDIBLY TAXING SYSTEM BECAUSE

DCS CERTAINLY IS LOOKING OUT FOR

THE BEST INTERESTS OF EVERYBODY.

>> Galen: AND MIRANDA'S PERSONAL

STORY IS UNFOLDING NOW.

>> Céline: THIS IS WHAT'S

HAPPENING TO KEEP OTHER WOMEN

FROM FOLLOWING HER LEAD.

24-YEAR-OLD AMY RAWLINGS IS ALL

SMILES SERVING UP BREAKFAST AT

THE DINER IN WINDHAM COUNTY.

>> I JUST LOVE PEOPLE.

I LOVE HAVING A JOB WHERE I CAN

WORK AND I CAN TALK AND LISTEN.

I LOVE IT.

>> Céline: AMY IS A SINGLE

MOTHER OF FOUR AND TODAY HER

22-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER STOPPED IN

WITH HER BABY TO SAY HELLO.

>> HI, HONEY.

>> Céline: IN THIS MOMENT, YOU

WOULDN'T KNOW THIS FAMILY IS IN

CRISIS.

HER BIG SISTER MIRANDA.

>> MY DAUGHTER AS HEROIN ADDICT,

SHE'S A DEALER.

SHE'S IN JAIL NINE MONTHS

PREGNANT READY TO HAVE A BABY

ALONE IN A STRANGE PLACE WITHOUT

US.

WITHOUT HER FAMILY.

>> Céline: MIRANDA IS IN FEDERAL

CUSTODY AT THE CHITTENDEN

REGIONAL CORRECTIONAL FACILITY

IN SOUTH BURLINGTON.

>> I TRY NOT TO CRY, BUT I DO.

BECAUSE I MESSED UP.

>> Céline: IN LATE 2012, POLICE

ARRESTED MIRANDA FOR DEALING

HEROIN.

IN EARLY 2018, SHE PLEADED

GUILTY AND WAS RELEASED ON

CONDITION SHE COMPLETED A DRUG

TREATMENT PROGRAM.

SHE GOT PREGNANT SOON AFTER AND

STAYED SOBER FOR SEVEN MONTHS

WITH THE HELP A MAINTENANCE DRUG

BEFORE RELAPSING.

>> SO I ENDED UP USING DRUGS THE

WEEKEND BEFORE I WENT TO COURT

AND THEY GAVE ME ANOTHER CHANCE

AND I WENT TO REHAB AND THEN I

GOT TO GO HOME, AND THEN I

MESSED UP AND I'M BACK HERE.

>> Céline: ON CHRISTMAS DAY

2018, AT NEARLY NINE MONTHS

PREGNANT, SHE DID HEROIN.

WHAT WENT THROUGH YOUR MIND THAT

DAY KNOWING THAT YOU ARE NINE

MONTHS PREGNANT?

>> I DON'T KNOW.

I JUST HAD A BUNCH OF -- I WAS

LIKE THERE'S NO EXCUSE FOR DOING

THAT AT ALL.

I -- IT'S JUST MY ESCAPE TO WHEN

I GET STRESSED OUT AND

OVERLOADED.

>> Céline: THIS IS GOING TO BE

HER SECOND BABY BORN ADDICTED TO

DRUGS.

THREE YEARS AGO, SHE HAD BRALEY.

>> SHE ENDED UP DETOXING, SO

THEY HAD TO RUSH HER OVER TO

DARTMOUTH AND PUT HER IN THE

NICU AND THEY WEANED HER DOWN ON

MORPHINE OVER A MONTH AND A HALF

PERIOD OF TIME AND I GOT TO TAKE

HER HOME AFTER.

>> SCARED ME TO DEATH.

SCARE ME TO DEATH.

IT WAS DIFFERENT BECAUSE I WAS

NEVER SURE IF SHE WAS USING.

>> Céline: SHE IS USING DRUGS,

SO HER SISTER STEPPED IN AND

ULTIMATELY ADOPTED BRALEY.

>> IT WAS HARD.

IT WAS HARD FOR BOTH OF THEM,

BUT IT WAS HARD.

MY DAUGHTER WHO'S GIVING UP HER

DAUGHTER FOR THE BEST TO HER

OTHER ONE TO SUPPORT HER.

VERY TOUGH.

SHE HAS HER MOM AND THEN SHE HAS

MIRANDA.

SHE'S GOT ENOUGH LOVE.

>> Céline: MIRANDA SAYS IT IS

HARD TO WATCH HER DAUGHTER CALL

KILA MOMMY, BUT SHE APPRECIATES

THE VALUE OF THIS LIFE LINE.

>> THANK HER FOR TAKING CARE OF

MY CHILD FOR ME AND BEING A MOM

TO HER.

>> Céline: THE FUTURE OF

MIRANDA'S SECOND CHILD IS

UNCLEAR.

WILL DCS AND THE COURTS GRANT

HER ONE MORE CHANCE?

MIRANDA THINKS HER MOM WILL GET

CUSTODY.

MOM ISN'T SO SURE.

>> I WANT TO TAKE THE BABY HOME

AND HOW DO I TELL MY DAUGHTER

THAT MIGHT NOT BE HAPPENING?

THAT'S WHAT BREAKS MY HEART.

>> Céline: WHILE DCS AND THE

COURTS CONSIDER OPTIONS FOR

MIRANDA AND HER BABY, WE GET

LEGAL PERSPECTIVE IN THE

RECOVERY PROCESS.

>> Galen: VERMONT'S ATTORNEY

GENERAL AND MYRRH RAN DANCE

LAWYER SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS.

>> FOLKS STRUGGLING WITH

ADDICTION DESERVE TREATMENT,

DESERVE A PATH BACK ON OUR

COMMUNITY, DESERVE TO PARENT AND

DESERVE TO RAISE THEIR CHILDREN.

AT THE SAME TIME, WE HAVE TO

BALANCE THAT WITH PUBLIC SAFETY

AND MAKING SURE THAT KIDS ARE

SAFE.

>> THE MORE WE UNDERSTAND ABOUT

THE PROCESS OF ADDICTION, THE

MORE THAT WE APPRECIATE THE

SERIOUSNESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES

HERE IN VERMONT IN 2019, THE

BETTER EQUIPPED WE'RE GOING TO

BE TO TRY AND MAKE PROGRESS.

>> Galen: HELPING A LOVED ONE

STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION CAN BE

OVERWHELMING.

>> Céline: WHERE DO YOU START?

WHO DO YOU CALL?

THIS IS UNCHARTED TERRITORY FOR

YOU LIKE IT IS FOR AMY, IT CAN

LEAVE YOU FEELING HOPELESS.

>> I THOUGHT SHE WAS A NORMAL

18-YEAR-OLD, YOU KNOW, GOING OUT

WITH FRIENDS, HANGING.

SHE HAD A BOYFRIEND.

EVERYTHING WAS NORMAL, AND THEN

I SPOT A PHONE CALL SAYING SHE'D

BEEN ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION OF

HEROIN IN MASSACHUSETTS.

MY HEART BROKE.

I WANT TO BE ABLE TO GIVE

EVERYTHING AND MAKE EVERYTHING

BETTER AND MAKE EVERYTHING

PERFECT, BUT I CANNOT DO THAT.

I'M NOT EDUCATED IN THAT AREA.

>> Céline: AMY IS DESPERATE TO

HELP HER DAUGHTER AND HER BABY.

>> Galen: SHORTLY AFTER THAT

FIRST REPORT, MIRANDA WENT INTO

LABOR.

>> SHE'S THE CUTEST THING.

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A BABY

TODAY.

>> Céline: A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER

SHARING A PERSONAL MOMENT.

BOTH EXCITED, BUT ALSO AFRAID OF

WHAT WILL HAPPEN ONCE THE BABY

IS BORN.

WHAT YOU CAN'T SEE IN THE CELL

PHONE VIDEO ARE THE GUARDS

STANDING OUTSIDE THE UVM

HOSPITAL ROOM DOOR.

>> MIRANDA IS A FEDERAL DETAINEE

RIGHT NOW, SO NO FAMILY.

I DID GET PERMISSION, I GOT

PERMISSION FROM THEM TO BE THERE

FOR HER WHEN THE BIRTH HAPPENED.

BUT THAT'S IT.

18 HOURS LATER, IT HAPPENED.

>> YOU DID IT, YOU'RE AMAZING!

>> Céline: MIRANDA GAVE BIRTH TO

HER BABY GIRL.

>> THIS IS AMAZING.

>> Céline: FOR TWO HOURS,

GRANDMOTHER, MOTHER AND BABY

WERE AT PEACE.

THEN REALITY STRUCK.

MIRANDA IS A FEDERAL PRISONER

AND AMY'S VISITING HOURS WERE

OVER.

SHE SHARED WITH ME HOW PAINFUL

IT WAS TO WALK AWAY AS SHE LEFT

THE HOSPITAL.

>> TWO HOURS AFTER BIRTH AND I'M

LEAVING MY DAUGHTER IN THE

HOSPITAL ALONE WITH TWO GUARDS.

HER NAME IS ALIANA GRACE.

EVERYTHING ABOUT HER IS PERFECT.

SHE'S AMAZING.

HAVING CHILDREN HERE WITH A

STRANGE PLACE WITH NO -- THE

PAIN I'M FEELING RIGHT NOW AND

THAT SHE MUST BE FEELING.

SHE WON'T BE ABLE TO CALL ME FOR

A FEW DAYS.

I DON'T HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT'S

GOING ON.

>> Céline: MIRANDA SPENT TWO

DAYS WITH HER BABY BEFORE SHE

WAS SENT BACK TO THE

CORRECTIONAL FACILITY.

THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND

FAMILIES AWARDED AMY'S SISTER

TEMPORARY CUSTODY OF THE BABY

UNTIL MIRANDA'S FEDERAL CASE IS

OVER.

>> IT'S JUST A DIFFICULT

SITUATION.

>> Céline: NO CAMERAS ARE

ALLOWED INSIDE THE FEDERAL

COURTROOM, BUT THIS IS THE

THREE-PAGE LETTER MIRANDA WROTE

BEFORE THE JUDGE.

>> YOU HAVE SOMEONE WHO

COMMITTED A CRIME AND IS VERY

CLEAR ABOUT HER RESPONSIBILITY,

SO IT'S A QUESTION OF GETTING

OVER THE OPIOID ADDICTION, BEING

GIVEN A CHANCE TO BE REUNITED

WITH THE BABY.

>> Céline: THE JUDGE TOLD

MIRANDA SHE'D BE SENTENCED TO

TIME SERVED FOLLOWED BY THREE

YEARS PROBATION AS LONG AS SHE

SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES THE

RESIDENTIAL DRUG REHAB PROGRAM

AT LUND FAMILY CENTER IN

BURLINGTON FOR NEW FAMILIES AND

THEIR BABIES.

THE ONLY PROBLEM, NO BEDS.

>> MOST YOUNG WOMEN WHO ARE

PREGNANT WHO ARE PLANNING TO GO

TO LUND, ACCEPTED AT LUND, HAVE

SEVERAL MONTHS WORTH OF ADVANCE

NOTICE.

IN HER CASE, THIS ALL CAME ON

PRETTY QUICKLY.

>> WE HAVE A PRETTY GOOD SENSE

THAT IT'S GOING TO BE WITHIN THE

NEXT TWO, THREE, FOUR WEEKS.

>> Céline: UNTIL THEN, MIRANDA

WILL REMAIN BEHIND BARS.

>> HE JUST DIDN'T FEEL

COMFORTABLE RELEASING HER UNDER

CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH SOMETHING

BAD COULD HAPPEN BETWEEN LEAVING

THE COURTHOUSE AND REPORTING TO

LUND.

>> Céline: FOR HER FAMILY, THAT

DECISION IS VERY UPSETTING.

>> I JUST WANT HER HOME.

>> Céline: DO YOU MISS HER?

>> YEAH.

A LOT.

>> SHE WILL LOST TWO AND A HALF

WEEKS OF BONDING TIME AND NOW IT

COULD BE ANOTHER TWO AND A HALF

WEEKS.

SHE COULD HAVE HAD THAT.

SHE COULD HAVE SPENT DAYS WITH

HER.

>> Céline: DAYS LATER A SPOT

OPENED UP AT LUND AND THE JUDGE

AGREES TO LET HER GO.

>> AND THIS TIME WHEN I LEAVE

HER, I'M NOT GOING TO LEAVE

CRYING SAD.

I'M GOING TO BE LEAVING HER

HAPPY.

>> NO HANDCUFFS, NO SHACKLES, NO

UNIFORM.

A FREE WOMAN.

>> YOU HAVE A LEVEL OF FREEDOM

TODAY THAT YOU HAVEN'T HAD IN A

WHILE.

>> IT FEELS GREAT AND PROBATION,

IT'S LIKE A SECURITY THING FOR

ME.

I KEEPS ME ACCOUNTABLE FOR MY

ACTIONS AND OTHER THINGS THAT

COULD HAPPEN DOWN THE ROAD THAT

I ALWAYS HAVE THAT RESOURCE AND

THE HELP THERE.

>> Céline: WHAT'S YOUR BIGGEST

FEAR?

>> RELAPSE.

>> BUT YOU HAVE A PLAN.

>> YEAH.

>> YOU HAVE THE VIVITROL.

>> I HAVE THE VIVITROL, I HAVE

TONS OF RESOURCES AT LUND.

THEY HELP YOU WITH MANY THINGS.

I GOT MY PROBATION OFFICER WHICH

WILL BE SUPPORTIVE AS WELL, HOLD

ME ACCOUNTABLE FOR THINGS WHEN I

START SLIPPING.

>> Céline: YOU HAVE QUITE THE

SUPPORT SYSTEM.

>> I DO.

>> Céline: HOW EXCITED ARE YOU

TO BE REUNITED WITH YOUR BABY?

>> I'M OVERLY EXCITED.

I CANNOT WAIT.

IT WILL BE NICE TO BE ABLE TO

HAVE HER, NOT JUST SEE HER FOR A

COUPLE HOURS OR TO BE ABLE TO

JUST BE A MOM AND TO BE ADULT

THAT I SHOULD BE.

>> Galen: AS OUR SERIES

CONTINUES, WE'LL TAKE YOU INSIDE

LUND TO SHOW HER PROGRESS.

>> Céline: UP NEXT, A PACKAGE OF

EXPERTS, POLITICAL, LEGAL AND

RECOVERY, WEIGH IN ON THE

CRISIS.

>> Céline: IN OUR FIRST SEGMENT

WE INTRODUCED YOU TO MIRANDA

SEVENE, A 24-YEAR-OLD WOMAN

STRUGGLING WITH A HEROIN

ADDICTION TO SUCH A DEGREE THAT

SHE NEARLY LOST HER SECOND CHILD

AND HER FREEDOM.

>> Galen: BUT SHE'S BEEN GIVEN

ANOTHER CHANCE AFTER FACING

FEDERAL CHARGES FOR DEALING

HEROIN.

AS PART OF HER SENTENCE, SHE HAS

TO GET HELP.

SHE'S AT LUND, A RESIDENTIAL

DRUG TREATMENT CENTER IN

BURLINGTON WHERE SHE CAN HAVE

HER BABY WITH HER.

THANK YOU FOR STAYING HERE WITH

US FOR THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF

"YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

I'M GALEN ETTLIN.

>> Céline: AND I'M CELINE

McARTHUR.

JOINING US TO TALK ABOUT OUR

SERIES AND THE STATE OF THE

OPIOID CRISIS IN VERMONT ARE

JOANNE NELSON FROM MERCY

CONNECTIONS.

>> Galen: MAYOR MIRO WEINBERGER

OF BURLINGTON, WHO HAS BEEN

FOCUSING ON TACKLING THE DRUG

CRISIS.

>> Céline: AND OUR RESIDENT

LEGAL EXPERT JERRY O'NEILL, A

FORMER U.S. PROSECUTOR.

FIRST, YOUR REACTION TO THE

SERIES SO FAR.

>> I THOUGHT IT WAS GREAT.

ITS THOUGHT IT DEALT WITH VERY

DIFFICULT ISSUES, THAT QUESTION

OF WHAT YOU TOO WITH WOMEN IN

PARTICULAR, A WOMAN WHO IS

PREGNANT.

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH IT AND HELP

HER MOVE FORWARD WITH IT?

I THOUGHT THAT IT PUT THAT FORTH

VERY WELL.

>> I WAS DEEPLY MOVED BIT WOMAN

AND HER PROFILE AND HER FAMILY

SUPPORT AND I RECOGNIZED IN HER

MANY OF THE PEOPLE I SOO HE ON A

DAILY BASIS IN BURLINGTON AT

MERCY CONNECTIONS.

>> IT REALLY SHOWED US JUST WHAT

THIS CRISIS MEANS TO THE LIVES

OF SO MANY OF VERMONTERS AND HOW

PEOPLE WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM

THIS OPIOID USE DISORDER GO

THROUGH UPS AND DOWNS AND

EXPERIENCE SET BACKS.

>> IT IS AMAZING TO SEE IT

THROUGH THAT LENS.

>> Galen: WE'VE BEEN GOING A LOT

OF THOUGHTS FROM OUR VIEWERS ON

SOCIAL MEDIA, SO WE'RE HOPING TO

GET YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THESE

COMMENTS.

THE FIRST ONE FROM AMY.

"TOO BAD NOT EVERYONE GETS THESE

DEALS.

I GUESS FEDERAL COURT VERSUS

STATE COURT, MAYBE.

THERE AREN'T ENOUGH RESOURCES IN

VERMONT TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE.

I HAVE SEEN THIS SYSTEM FAIL

MISERABLY.

WISH THEY OFFERED THIS TO ALL

MOMS OR PREGNANT WOMEN AS A

CONDITION OF RELEASE."

JERRY O'NEILL, THIS MIGHT BE A

GOOD PLACE TO START FOR YOU.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN

THE FEDERAL PROCESS AND THE

IMBALANCES?

>> O'Neill: IN A NUTSHELL,

MONEY.

THE FEDERAL SYSTEM HAS THE

RESOURCES, IT HAS THE MONEY, THE

FUNDING, MORE PROBATION

OFFICERS, THE ABILITY TO

SUPERVISE.

IT HAS A LOT SMALLER CASELOAD,

SO IT CAN PAY MUCH CLOSER

ATTENTION TO EACH INDIVIDUAL WHO

COMES BEFORE IT.

THE STATE JUST DOESN'T HAVE THE

FUNDS TO PROVIDE THE SUPPORT

THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

DOES.

>> Céline: FOR HER, SHE'LL BE

ABLE TO HAVE FOR HER THREE YEARS

OF PROBATION, SHE WILL BE ABLE

TO GET THE TREATMENT SHE NEEDS,

INCLUDING LUND, WHICH ISN'T

CHEAP.

>> O'Neill: SHE'S GOING TO GET

SUPERVISED RELEASE.

THERE ARE PROBATION OFFICERS AND

GOOD HARD-WORKING PEOPLE IN THE

STATE SYSTEM, BUT THE REALITY IS

THEY HAVE MUCH HIGHER CASELOADS,

THEY DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES TO

MAKE AVAILABLE FOR SOMEONE IN

HER SITUATION.

THAT'S TOTALLY DIFFERENT

COMPARED TO WHAT SHE'S GOING TO

HAVE BECAUSE SHE'S IN THE

FEDERAL SYSTEM.

>> Céline: HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU

THINK, ALL OF YOU THINK IT IS TO

HAVE ALL THOSE RESOURCES, TO

HAVE ALL OF THOSE SORT OF

EXPERTS KEEPING AN EYE ON YOU

THROUGHOUT YOUR ENTIRE PROCESS

OF RECOVERY?

>> Nelson: VERY, VERY IMPORTANT.

PEOPLE LIKE MIRANDA, BEFORE SHE

EVEN SHOW UP AT THE CORRECTIONAL

FACILITY, THEY'VE BEEN SURVIVORS

OF SEXUAL ABUSE, PHYSICAL ABUSE.

THEY HAVE THE LOWEST

SOCIOECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS,

THEY -- AND THE SKILLS, A LOT OF

THEM ARE SINGLE, UNMARRIED

MOTHERS AND THEY HAVE ALL KINDS

OF ISSUES THEY NEED TO BE

SUPPORTED ON, SO EVERY SINGLE

ONE OF THOSE RESOURCES IS

CRITICAL.

>> Weinberger: I THINK IT'S

REALLY IMPORTANT WHENEVER WE

TALK ABOUT THIS THAT PEOPLE

REALIZE, BY FAR, THE MOST

CRITICAL STEP IS THAT FIRST STEP

OF PEOPLE GETTING ACCESS INTO

AND STARTING MEDICALLY ASSISTED

TREATMENT.

>> Céline: AND YOU BRING UP A

GOOD POINT, WHICH IS OUR NEXT

VIEWER, MELISSA.

"THIS IS LUDICROUS.

IF THEY DIDN'T IMMEDIATELY HAVE

OPENINGS, THEY SHOULD HAVE

ROOMED HER IN THE HOSPITAL WITH

HER BABY UNTIL ROOM OPENED AT

LUND.

THE BABY NEEDS MATERNAL CONTACT.

THIS IS CRUEL AND IT IS DAMAGING

TO SEVER THE RELATIONSHIP."

WONG OF THE THINGS WHEN WE

LAUNCHED THE SERIES TO BEGIN

WITH, THE FAMILIES IF BELLOWS

FALLS SAID THEY REALIZED THERE

WERE NOT A LOT OF RESOURCES

AROUND THE STATE, SO THEY HAD TO

COME UP TO CHITTENDEN COUNTY TO

GET RESOURCES.

>> Weinberger: WE'VE WORKED VERY

HARD THROUGH THE CHITTENDEN

COUNTY OPIOID ALLIANCE AND THE

MONTHLY MEETINGS, TO GET ALL THE

DIFFERENT STAKEHOLDERS WHO HAVE

ONE ROLE OR ANOTHER IN FACING

THIS EPIDEMIC, WORKING TOGETHER,

FOCUSED ON THE DATA, FOCUSED ON

THE SCIENCE AND REALLY WE'VE

BEEN LASER FOCUSED ON BRINGING

DOWN DEATHS RELATED TO OPIOID

OVERDOSES.

WE'RE VERY ENCOURAGED AND

HOPEFUL TO SEE THE OPIOID DEATHS

FALL FROM 35 TO 17 FROM 2017 TO

2018.

THERE'S STILL WAY TOO MANY.

THERE'S A LOT MORE TO DO AND IT

SHOULDN'T BE YOU HAVE TO TRAVEL

FROM ALL THESE OTHER COUNTIES IN

VERMONT TO CHITTENDEN COUNTY TO

GET TO THE ONE SYRINGE EXCHANGE,

FOR EXAMPLE, THAT'S OPEN 40

HOURS A WEEK.

>> O'Neill: THE PERSON WHO WROTE

INS A TALK ABOUT KEEPING HER IN

THE HOSPITAL FOR A PERIOD OF

TIME, IT'S A GREAT IDEA, I'D

LOVE TO SEE IT POSSIBLE.

THE DIFFICULTY IS THAT SHE'S IN

CUSTODY.

BEING IN CUSTODY, THAT MEANS YOU

HAVE TO HAVE PEOPLE THERE 24

HOURS A DAY, AT LEAST TWO PEOPLE

A DAY WITH HER 24 HOURS A DAY.

THERE'S A MEANS TO GET HER OUT

IN THE COMMUNITY DURING THAT

PERIOD OF TIME, THAT'S GREAT,

BUT IF NOT, YOU HAVE TO TAKE A

LOOK AT WHAT THE RESOURCES ARE

GOING TO BE TO PERMIT THAT

OCCUR.

>> Nelson: IN SOME STATES THERE

ARE MOTHER AND CHILD PROGRAMS

BUILT RIGHT INTO PRISON SYSTEMS.

WE DON'T HAVE ANY IN VERMONT.

WE'RE A VERY RURAL STATE AND I

SEE IT EVERY DAY.

WOMEN ARE RELEASED FROM THE

CORRECTIONAL FACILITY AT THE

STATE LEVEL TO DIFFERENT PARTS

OF THIS RURAL STATE AND THEY

CANNOT BE CONNECTED TO, FOR

EXAMPLE, MENTORING PROGRAMS THAT

ARE GENDER INFORMED AND REALLY

EFFECTIVE.

>> Galen: GETTING TO THE STIGMA,

WE HAVE A LOT OF COMMENTS

CRITICIZING MIRANDAS A SOME OF

THE CHOICES SHE MADE.

STACEY SAYS: "WHY SHOULD WE CARE

NOW FOR HER WHEN IT'S OBVIOUS

THAT SHE DIDN'T CARE FOR THE

BABY IN THE FIRST PLACE?

SYMPATHY IS FOR PEOPLE WHO

DESERVE IT.

SHE CLEARLY DOESN'T.

IF SHE WANTED THAT BABY TO BEGIN

WITH, SHE WOULD HAVE CHANGED HER

WAYS WAY BEFORE HAVING THAT

CHILD."

KIND OF STRONG WORDS THERE.

JOANNE, MAYBE STARTING WITH YOU

BECAUSE YOU WORK WITH WOMEN FROM

ALL WALKS OF LIFE GOING THROUGH

CHALLENGES WITH THE LAW,

INCARCERATION.

WHAT'S YOUR TAKE WHEN PEOPLE

FIRE OFF A COMMENT LIKE THAT

ONE?

>> Nelson: I'M NOT SURE ANY

AMONG US HAVEN'T MADE BAD

CHOICES.

I KNOW FOR SURE THAT ONE OF THE

REASONS THAT I HAVE NOT BEEN

INCARCERATED AND I DON'T HAVE

SUBSTANCE ABUSE IS BECAUSE OF

ALL THE RESOURCES I'VE HAD MY

WHOLE LIFE AND PEOPLE WHO HAVE

SUPPORTED ME AND MY ACCESS TO

HAVING MY BASIC NEEDS MET AND

THAT'S HOW I WOULD APPROACH

THAT.

SO I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY USE

IN TELLING THAT PERSON THEY'RE

AWE WRONG.

I WANT TO LISTEN AND I WANT TO

DRAW THEM IN AND HAVE THEM BE

PART OF THE SOLUTION, AND THAT'S

THE ONLY WAY WE'RE GOING TO DO

THIS IS IF WE WORK TOGETHER.

>> Galen: WE HAVE ANOTHER ONE

FROM T.A. JERRY, WHO SAYS:

"PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE TO QUALIFY

TO HAVE KIDS IN TODAY'S SOCIETY.

SOUNDS CRAZY, BUT THIS LOSER

ADDICT GIVING BIRTH TO WHAT

ESSENTIALLY IS A VICTIM OF THE

MOM'S DRUG CHOICE IS BS!"

WHAT CAN WE GET OUT OF THIS?

AGAIN, THERE IS ONE OF THOSE

SORT OF HARSH MEDIA COMMENTS.

WE DON'T KNOW IF THIS PERSON HAS

AN INSIGHT INTO THE DIRECT

IMPACT OF THE CRISIS OR NOT, BUT

WORKING WITH PEOPLE FROM ALL

WALKS OF LIFE, AGAIN, HOW DO YOU

ADDRESS SOMETHING LIKE THIS?

>> O'Neill: CHOICE IS THE PHRASE

IN THERE THERE JUMPS OUT AT ME.

AT A POINT WHEN SOMEONE STARTS

SOMETHING, PERHAPS THEY HAD AN

ORTHOPAEDIC INJURY AND

PRESCRIBED MEDICATION.

THERE'S A POINT IN TIME WHEN

CHOICE DISAPPEARS AND IT'S THE

CRAVING AND IT'S THERE.

ALL OF US ARE FORTUNATE NOT TO

HAVE HAD THAT EXPERIENCE, BUT

FOR SOMEONE TO JUDGE THAT PERSON

AND SAY THAT'S THEIR CHOICE,

YES, IN THEORY IT IS, BUT IN

REALITY FOR MANY OF THE PEOPLE,

IT'S NOT REALLY A CHOICE.

THEY'RE NOT ABLE TO GIVE IT UP

ANY MORE THAN ALCOHOLICS GIVE UP

ALCOHOL.

>> Nelson: AND IT'S IT DID FOR

THE FAMILIES.

THE FIRST DAY THEY SHARE THEM UP

TO US AND BAD STORYING AND IT

WAS BAD COMMENT, BAD COMMENT,

BAD COMMENT.

>> Céline: FOR THEM WATCHING THE

THREE OF YOU AND THEY'RE GETTING

READY TO GET ON THE INTERNET

AGAIN AND SAY THAT, WHAT DO YOU

SAY?

>> O'Neill: THINK WHETHER OR NOT

YOU WOULD SAY THAT FACE-TO-FACE

TO SOMEONE RATHER THAN SITTING

AT A KEYBOARD.

A LOT OF PEOPLE GET A GREAT DEAL

OF PLEASURE BEING ABLE TO

ANONYMOUSLY ATTACK PEOPLE, WHERE

IF THEY HAD TO SIT DOWN AND TALK

WITH SOMEONE, WOULD THEY FEEL

THE SAME WAY.

>> Nelson: THERE'S A LOT OF

LAYERS TO IT AND ONE LAYER IS

THIS IDEA THAT YOU'RE STILL A

HUMAN BEING.

>> Weinberger: I WOULD ENCOURAGE

ANYONE WHO THAT IS THAT KIND OF

REACTION TO TALK TO THEIR

FRIENDS AND FAMILIES AND ASK

AROUND A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT

PEOPLE THAT THEY RESPECT AND

LOVE, WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCES

THEY HAVE HAD.

I THINK WHEN PEOPLE ASK AROUND

AND BECOME BETTER EDUCATED,

MAYBE READ A BOOK LIKE DOPE SICK

OR GRACELAND, THEY'LL HAVE A

MUCH GREATER UNDERSTANDING THAT

WE NEED TO HAVE SENSITIVITIES

FOR PEOPLE SUFFERING LIKE

MIRANDA.

>> Galen: HOPING TO GET ALL YOUR

PERSPECTIVE ON THIS.

WHERE DO YOU THINK THERE'S A GAP

IN KNOWLEDGE WITH THE PUBLIC IN

YOUR INDIVIDUAL WORK IN TACKLING

THIS CRISIS?

>> O'Neill: I THINK THE GAP

CONSISTS OF PEOPLE THINKING THAT

THE MONEY BEING SPENT ON THIS IS

WASTED MONEY, THESE ARE BAD

PEOPLE.

IN REALITY, YOU DON'T HAVE TO

LIKE THE PEOPLE, BUT WHAT YOU

HAVE TO REALIZE IS THE MONEY

THAT THE GOVERNMENT SPENDS ON

THIS IN THE LONG TERM SAVES

MONEY BECAUSE THE DISABILITIES,

THE DEATHS, ALL THOSE OTHER

ASPECTS OF IT.

IT'S GREAT TO CARE ABOUT THE

PEOPLE AND I HOPE EVERYONE DOES,

BUT IF THEY DON'T, LOOK IN

THEY'RE WALLET.

THEY SAVE MONEY WITH PROGRAMS.

>> Nelson: HAVING YOUR FREEDOM

TAKEN AWAY AND SERVING TIME IN

THAT REGARD.

>> Weinberger: I FAELT THERE'S

WAY -- FEEL THERE'S WAY TOO MUCH

STIGMA OUT THERE ABOUT

LIFE-SAVING MEDICATIONS THAT A

LOT OF PEOPLE SEE AS MAINTENANCE

DRUGS THAT ARE ALMOST LIKE

HEROIN THEMSELVES AND PEOPLE

NEED TO GET OFF OF THEM AS SOON

AS THEY CAN AND THAT LEADS TO A

LOT OF TRAGIC SITUATIONS.

IT SHOULD BE THOUGHT OF AS

SOMETHING LIKE INSULIN FOR

DIABETICS, SOMETHING THAT THESE

PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE TO NEED

TO BE ON FOR MAYBE THE REST OF

THEIR LIVES.

>> Céline: THERE'S FOR DEBATE WE

NEED MORE EDUCATION ABOUT THE

DANGERS OF THESE DRUGS.

SPAFERKALLY, WHAT WOULD YOU --

SPECIFICALLY, WHAT WOULD YOU

INCLUDE IN AN EDUCATIONAL

PROGRAM FOR KIDS?

WHAT WOULD YOU INCLUDE IN ORDER

TO MAKE THAT EDUCATION WORK AND

REALLY HOW YOUNG WOULD YOU

START?

>> O'Neill: I WOULD FIND SOMEONE

WHO REALLY KNEW WHAT THEY WERE

TALKING ABOUT AT WHAT LEVEL TO

BRING IT IN BECAUSE THERE ARE A

NUMBER OF PROGRAMS THAT HAVE

BEEN TRIED.

FOR EXAMPLE, NOT VERMONT, BUT A

PROGRAM TRIED IN ONE PLACE IS

TAKING KIDS INTO PRISONS,

EXPOSING THEM TO PRISON, 100%

FAILURE.

THERE'S NO SUCCESS COMPARED TO

KIDS WHO DIDN'T PARTICIPATE IN

THE PROGRAM.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE ANSWER IS

BECAUSE YOU REALLY NEED SOMEONE

WHO IS THOROUGHLY STUDIED THAT

AND UNDERSTANDS IT, NOT JUST

SIMPLY GUT REACTIONS, BUT WHAT

REALLY IS PROVEN TO WORK.

>> Weinberger: THERE ARE GREAT

RESOURCES ONLINE.

STATE OF VERMONT HAS A WEBSITE

CALLED PARENT UP, A PLACE PEOPLE

CAN GO IF THEY'RE TRYING TO

FIGURE OUT HOW TO TALK TO THEIR

OWN KIDS ABOUT THIS.

I TALKED TO MY OWN 13-YEAR-OLD

AND CERTAINLY I FOUND THAT KIDS

ARE ABLE TO ENGAGE IN THOSE

MIDDLE SCHOOL YEARS AND I THINK

IT'S IMPORTANT TO PEOPLE TO DO

THAT.

>> Céline: IF I CAN ASK ONE MORE

QUESTION.

WHERE SHOULD THE SERIES GO NEXT

WILLIAM WE'RE WATCHING MIRANDA

AND AMY AND THE FAMILY GO

THROUGH THE PROCESS.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS IMPORTANT?

>> O'Neill: THERE'S A HUGE

COMPONENT OF THAT THAT'S NOT

VISIBLE TO MOST PEOPLE, BUT THE

NUMBER OF WOMEN INVOLVED IN

USING DRUGS WHO HAVE BEEN IN

SOME RESPECT TRAFFICKED SEXUALLY

IS TREMENDOUS.

YOU WOULDN'T THINK WE HAVE THAT

PROBLEM IN VERMONT.

WE HAVE THAT PROBLEM IN VERMONT,

WOMEN BEING TRAFFICKED HERE,

GOING DOWN TO PLACES IN NEW YORK

AND THE LIKES OF THAT.

I DON'T KNOW IF YOU CAN FIND A

WAY TO GET A STORY ON THAT TO

GET INVOLVED WITH THE PEOPLE

INVOLVED IN IT, AND IF YOU

WOULD, YOU'D FIND THINGS

INCREDIBLY DISTURBING.

>> Céline: WORKING ON THAT NOW,

AND IT IS CHALLENGING.

THIS IS A GREAT CONVERSATION.

>> Galen: WE APPRECIATE YOU ALL

BEING HERE AND LENDING THAT

PERSPECTIVE.

>> WHEN THEY'RE PLAYING WITH

THESE TYPES OF DRUGS, THEY'RE

PLAYING WITH THE FUTURE OF THEIR

LIFE.

>> Galen: UP NEXT, A FINAL TAKE

FROM SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS.

>> Galen: AS WE LEAVE YOU HERE,

WE GIVE SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS

THE FINAL WORD.

>> Céline: AND HE SAYS, YOU CAN

QUOTE ME.

>> Sanders: THE FIRST QUESTION

WE HAVE TO ASK IS WAY IS IT THAT

SO MANY PEOPLE ARE TURNING TO

OPIOIDS TO ESCAPE THE PAIN OF

LIFE?

IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING AND YOU

NEED A COUNSELOR, YOU SHOULD BE

ABLE TO GET THAT COUNSELOR WHEN

YOU NEED HIM OR HER.

>> Céline: WE PROFILED A

24-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WHO'S HAD TWO

CHILDREN STRUGGLING WITH HER

ADDICTION TO HEROIN AND FENTANYL

AND SHE'S DOWN IN BELLOWS FALLS

AND THEIR BIGGEST STRUGGLE IS

THERE ARE NO RESOURCES IN THAT

AREA.

>> Sanders: IN THIS AREA,

CONGRESS IS MOVING.

WE HAVE PUT MANY, MANY BILLIONS

OF DOLLARS, SOME OF WHICH IS

COMING TO NEW HAMPSHIRE AND TO

VERMONT TO BEGIN THAT TREATMENT

POSSESS, BUT AT THE END OF THE

DAY, WE ARE GOING TO NEED A LOT

MORE COUNSELORS AND

PSYCHOLOGISTS.

WE NEED A LOT MORE PREVENTION

EFFORTS.

>> Céline: DO YOU THINK THERE

NEEDS TO BE A FOCUS ON EDUCATION

FOR YOUNG PEOPLE UNDERSTANDING

THE DANGERS?

>> Sanders: ABSOLUTELY.

YOU KNOW, THAT'S A GOOD POINT.

WHEN I WAS A KID, WHEN THE WORD

HEROIN CAME OUT, EVERYBODY KNEW

THAT WAS A KILLER DRUG AND I AM

NOT SURE THAT A LOT OF YOUNG

PEOPLE UNDERSTAND HOW ADDICTIVE

AND HOW DANGEROUS HEROIN AND

OPIOIDS IN GENERAL ARE.

THIS IS NOT SOMETHING YOU PLAY

AROUND WITH.

OH BOY, I'M GOING TO GET HIGH

ONCE OR TWICE.

THIS IS STUFF THAT IS EXTREMELY

ADDICTIVE AND ONCE YOU GET

HACKED UP ON THAT, THIS IS VERY

TOUGH STUFF TO GET RID OF.

SO I JUST HOPE AND PRAY THAT

YOUNG PEOPLE DO NOT FALL INTO

THIS OUT OF IGNORANCE.

UNDERSTAND, THIS IS TERRIBLY

SERIOUS STUFF WHICH WILL

DRAMATICALLY CAUSE YOU PAIN IN

LIFE.

>> Céline: HOW DO WE IMPROVE THE

EDUCATION?

THERE AREN'T ANY PLANS IN THE

STATE OF VERMONT SPECIFICALLY.

THERE'S A SPIRIT TO EDUCATE THE

STUDENTS, BUT NOTHING SPECIFIC

ABOUT HEROIN AND FENTANYL AND

THIS NEW GENERATION OF VERY

POWERFUL DRUGS.

>> Sanders: I THINK, A, WE HAVE

TO EXPLAIN THAT TO THE KIDS,

WHEN THEY'RE PLAYING WITH THESE

TYPES OF DRUGS, THEY'RE PLAYING

WITH THE FUTURE OF THEIR LIFE

AND THE OUTCOME IS ADDICTION OR

MAYBE DEATH.

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