Vermont Governor Focuses State Of The State On Drug Abuse | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Vermont Governor Focuses State Of The State On Drug Abuse

Governor Peter Shumlin used his entire annual address to outline an ambitious plan to combat the state’s "full blown" heroin epidemic.


Gov. Peter Shumlin delivers his address. Photo via

By John Lavitt


| Share

On Wednesday, January 8, 2014, Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont focused his entire State of the State speech on the plague of opiate addiction ripping apart his state, detailing its cost in both lives and money while offering possible solutions.

In his address, Gov. Shumlin detailed the statistics about the heroin epidemic plaguing the Green Mountain State. Since 2000, Vermont has experienced a startling increase of more than 770 percent of people in treatment for opiate addictions with the numbers rising up to 4,300 people in 2012. On a weekly basis, more than $2 million worth of heroin and other opiates are illegally brought into Vermont and as a result, prison populations are rising with nearly 80 percent of inmates in the state being held on drug-related charges. “In every corner of our state, heroin and opiate drug addiction threatens us,” he said. “The time has come for us to stop quietly averting our eyes from the growing heroin addiction in our front yards while we fear and fight treatment facilities in our backyards.”

While his approach seeks tougher laws on drug dealers, Gov. Shumlin outlined a plan that placed a heavy reliance on treatment, education, and prevention. He pointed out that incarcerating addicts for a week costs the state $1,120, while a week of treatment at a state-financed center only costs $123. With over 500 addicts presently on waiting lists, Gov. Shumlin seeks a broad expansion of the availability of treatment programs.

Shumlin‘s address also included the following initiatives:

- $200,000 dedicated right away to allow treatment centers to staff up and reduce waiting lists.
- $760,000 in 2015 to allow courts to assess offenders and determine who would best benefit from treatment rather than prison.
- A plan to determine where drug hot spots are located in the state and how local resources should be deployed.
- A statewide forum later this year to share ideas on drug abuse prevention, education, and treatment options.

“The hope is that I can use my voice to speak the truth about a challenge that threatens to undermine the best quality of life of any state in the country and proactively confront it,” he said. “It is a crisis bubbling just beneath the surface that may be invisible to many but is already highly visible to law enforcement, medical personnel, social service and addiction treatment providers and too many Vermont families."

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Normies React to the 12 Steps

"I think admitting to having a problem in general is the right first step, but to admit powerlessness is unhealthy. .. I think admitting powerlessness is more harmful because it doesn't help. Admitting that you want and need help is more useful after admittance."

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv