Vermont has some of the highest rates of opioid drug abuse and addiction in the United States. This is why it is now known as America's heroin capital. Not surprisingly, many of its residents have been struggling with substance abuse and addiction for several years - particularly involving prescription medications, methamphetamine, and cocaine.
In a 2008 survey conducted by the NSDUH - the National Survey on Drug Use and Health - it was reported that more than 11 percent of the residents of this state had engaged in illicit substance abuse at least once within the month before the study. This rate was higher than the 8.02 percent that was reported at the national stage.
By 2014, a total of 2,258 people were enrolled in an addiction treatment facility for abusing heroin and developing an opioid use disorder or an opioid addiction as a result. This number amount to an increase of 64 percent from that reported in 2013.
However, heroin is not the only troubling substance of abuse in the state. Among people enrolling in a recovery program in Vermont, the most common mentions were for methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, and prescription opiate pain relief medications.
Additionally, law enforcement officials in the state have been reporting an increase in the total number of drug and substance dens that are cropping up within local communities. These dens are comprised of people who move into abandoned apartments and houses with the specific goal of being able to abuse drugs liberally.
A great majority of these people end up selling these substances within their neighborhoods so that they can get the finances required to support their growing drug abuse and addiction problems. This has led to an increase in the number of teenagers within the state who try substances - particular tobacco cigarettes, alcohol, and heroin.
Apart from heroin, the residents of Vermont also widely abuse marijuana - a drug that is increasingly available in the state. Most of the supplies of this substance come in through commercial trucks, recreational vehicles, and private cars - from Canada and other neighboring states such as New York and Massachusetts.
In 2018, the state lost a total of 127 lives to a drug overdose related to opioid drugs. This was at a total rate of 22.8 deaths for every segment of 100,000 people. This number had remained largely unchanged since the last count in 2016.
Synthetic opioids apart from methadone - including fentanyl and its analogs - caused a total of 33 deaths at a rate of more than 5.5 fatalities for a similar segment of people in 2015. This number increased to 106 fatalities at a rate of over 19 deaths for a segment of 100,000 people by 2018.
At the end of the study, it was found that heroin was involved in 68 fatalities in the state at a rate of more than 12 deaths for a similar segment while prescription opioid and opiate prescription pain relief medications led to 27 deaths at a rate of 4.4 fatalities for a similar segment of the population.
The state of Vermont has a wide range of both inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment and rehabilitation facilities that have been licensed and accredited to provide recovery and sobriety programs for people who are addicted to drugs.