Vermont Addiction Treatment and Info

Drug and substance abuse is to blame for a lot of the woes that the country is facing. It has been calibrated that every passing year, the country has to pump billions into matters relating to drug use and abuse.

While states like Vermont are on the lower side, as far as population goes, the drug use and abuse rates are neck and neck with those of the entire nation. In fact in Vermont's case, the state has the highest illicit drug use rates in the country. With more than 626,200 residents, it is unsurprising that the state has experienced high rates of drug and alcohol abuse over the past several decades.

Addiction in Vermont

Home to the world's first Ben and Jerry's ice cream parlor, Vermont was one of the first territories added to the United States, following the ratification of the Constitution. Vermont is rich with historical remnants from colonial days, boasting original buildings and bridges that predate its acceptance as a state.

Bordering the coastal states of Massachusetts and New York, Vermont is also in close proximity to the main ports for drug trafficking along the east coast. Both Boston and New York City have for a long time served as hubs for drug traffickers from around the world. Because of Vermont's central location to these two ports, the drug trade has been an issue for the state for decades.

Vermont has seen a dramatic increase in both heroin use and prescription opioid abuse since 2000. In 2013, a study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse revealed that Vermont had the highest rate of illicit drug use in the country.

Commonly Abused Substances in Vermont

There are numerous substances used and abused in the state of Vermont. However, some of these are admittedly more prevalently abused than others. The information that follows highlights the most common drugs here:

1. Marijuana

Marijuana abuse in Vermont has contributed significantly to the state's status as having the highest rate of illicit drug use in the country. According to the Deputy Commissioner for the Vermont Department of Health, the state ranked highest in the country for marijuana use. This is quite a stat, considering the state has less than a million residents. 13% of Vermont residents reported using the drug at least once in the last 30 days.

Vermont's Department of Health points to the state's geographic location to explain the heightened drug statistics. Many of Vermont's larger cities are located along the main highway which runs from Philadelphia to Montreal, cleaving both Boston and New York City through the middle. This makes transportation quick and easy for anyone looking to sell an illicit substance.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol abuse and addiction have been a major issue in Vermont since the year 2012. Alcohol abuse is defined as either using alcohol underage, making risky decisions while under the influence of alcohol or combining alcohol with other drugs. Vermont is guilty on all three alcohol abuse charges.

Although rates of alcohol abuse and addiction have remained constant from 2012 to 2016, the rate of adult admission into rehab centers for the treatment of alcohol abuse or alcohol addiction has dropped by almost 1,000 people per year. In 2016, only nine percent of individuals with a diagnosed alcohol use disorder sought treatment in a state-funded facility.

National data shows that more Vermont residents (ages 12 and over) are drinking alcohol compared to the entire nation overall and the number of Vermonters binge drinking is also higher than in the country overall.

National data also shows that more Vermont youth and young adults are drinking alcohol compared to the country overall. People who begin drinking before age 15 are over 4 times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at 21.

Alcohol use in Vermont is statistically more prevalent than in the U.S. as a whole, and has been for at least 10 years. About 59% of Vermonters aged 12 and over report drinking alcohol in the last 30 days, compared to 52% nationally.

This trend has remained more or less steady. Ten years ago the figures were 58% for Vermont and 51 percent nationally.

Binge drinking among Vermont high school students declined significantly between 1995 and 2013. The percentage of students in grades nine to 12 who reported binge drinking in the last 30 days dropped from 36 to 21% The current Vermont rate is not statistically different from the national rate of 19%.

Underage drinking in Vermont is more common here. In 2012-2013, 30 percent of 12- to 20-year-olds in Vermont reported past 30-day alcohol use, a statistically higher prevalence than the U.S. average of 24%.

College-age and young adults also tend to drink more in the state of Vermont. Vermont's 18- to 25-year-olds have a statistically higher prevalence of past 30-day alcohol use compared to those 12- to 17-years-old and 26- or more years old in Vermont.

3. Opioids

In 2017, there were 114 drug overdose deaths involving opioids in Vermont - a rate of 20 deaths per 100,000 persons, compared to the national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000 persons. The greatest increase was among deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (mainly Fentanyl) with 77 deaths in 2017. Heroin-involved deaths also rose from 10 deaths in 2012 to 41 deaths in 2017. Overall, deaths involving prescription opioids have not changed since 2013.

In 2017, Vermont providers wrote 50.5 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons. This was among the lowest prescribing rates in the country and lower than the average U.S. rate of 58.7 prescriptions. However, while most states have seen a decreasing trend since data collection began in 2006, the opioid prescribing rate in Vermont has declined marginally, by 10 percent, over the last decade.

The rate of overdose deaths involving opioid prescriptions increased steadily beginning in 2014 from 4.3 deaths per 100,000 to 6.3 deaths per 100,000 persons

4. Other Opiates

Opiates were the most commonly cited drugs of abuse for persons seeking addiction drug treatment in the state of Vermont. In the year 2010, 1,890 persons entered addiction treatment.

Drug Related Injuries and Fatalities in Vermont

The state of Vermont is no stranger to the opioid epidemic which is sweeping through the nation. Back in the year 2016, Vermont reported over 100 opioid-related overdose fatalities. This report did not take into account adverse reactions, hospitalizations or death resulting from behavior related to being under the influence of opioids.

In the years between 2013 and 2016, deaths resulting from heroin overdose increased by 25. This statistic was surpassed by deaths resulting from synthetic opioids, such as Fentanyl, in which the number of individuals who lost their lives due to an overdose nearly tripled. There were 68 residents that died in 2007 from drug use compared with 71 from motor vehicle accidents and another 52 from firearm incidents.

Addiction Prevention in Vermont

Vermont has several initiatives in place that are designed to curb the growing rates of substance abuse among the locals. Some examples of these initiatives include:

a) Raising Awareness

This involves spreading information about substance use disorders and alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, stimulants, hallucinogens and opioids. There is an emphasis on the undesirable ramifications of these drugs, with the most devastating side effect being death.

b) Prevention Education

Here, critical life skills that may be missing are taught to residents. These life skills when properly imparted decrease a person's likelihood of turning to substance abuse as a means of escape.

c) Addiction Identification and Referral

This helps friends and family aptly recognize if a loved one requires help for a drug abuse disorder. It also depicts how to systematically get that help so that the person is rescued from his or her disorder and by extension, the issues stemming from it.

Vermont is working overtime to raise awareness throughout the state and decrease the state's substance abuse rates. Prevention efforts reach out to families and communities statewide, and not just those who are considered high risk.

Addiction Treatment in Vermont

In addition to the preventative initiatives in place, the state has a vast variety of addiction treatment and rehab programs available. These programs offer unique and highly personalized recovery services to admitted clients.

2006 statistics indicate that Vermont ranks among the highest 10 states in the union for several drug and alcohol related abuse categories. There were 40 drug and alcohol addiction treatment facilities in 2006. Only 4 facilities offer opioid treatment. Only 16 drug and alcohol rehabs provide dual diagnosis treatment, treatment for both mental health disorders and substance abuse.

Vermont has ranked among the highest states for the prevalence of illicit drug dependence among the total population age 12 and older and for individuals 18 to 25.

Numbers of people seeking admissions for drug and alcohol addiction treatment in Vermont has fluctuated for several years going from 7,641 in 2002 to 8,356 in 2008 and again back to 7,851 in 2010. In 2010, 62.8 % of those who entered treatment were male while 37.1 % were female.

Some of the services that you may expect when you are enrolled any one of these programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Aftercare programs
  • Alumni programs
  • Detox programs
  • Inpatient programs
  • Intensive outpatient programs
  • Intervention services
  • Outpatient programs
  • Sober living homes

Consider the following categories of substance abuse treatment and rehab services that are available in Vermont:

i) Intervention Services

A professional interventionist attends to persons who are close to the person experiencing addiction in a bid to design an intervention. An intervention outlines the toll that drug abuse has taken on the addicted person and those who love and look out for them. It outlines an appropriate plan of treatment, with the ultimate objective of motivating them to actively seek assistance.

ii) Inpatient Addiction Treatment

After a person has completed any necessary detox, it's time to address the psychological and behavioral aspects of addiction in an inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.

Vermont inpatient drug rehab programs offer a residential setting and intensive therapies that help a person address the social, mental, emotional and even spiritual impact of addiction. These tailored therapies help a person to adopt the relapse-prevention and sober-living skills that work best for their needs.

Living on-site at a treatment facility gives each client the chance to be immersed in a therapeutic community. Throughout the course of their day, residents have the chance to build meaningful relationships with staff and fellow treatment participants. These bonds both enhance and inform the recovery process.

iii) Outpatient Addiction Treatment

While the traditional outpatient and intensive outpatient programs effectively provide standalone services for dependency treatment, these programs tend to be more valuable when they are used to support inpatient rehab.

In this capacity, outpatient programs may help a person to adjust to sobriety after receiving treatment. As a step-down service, the outpatient programs assist the person to successfully adjust to changes in lifestyle which are associated with sobriety.

iv) Drug and Alcohol Detox Programs

Without professional help and medical support, withdrawal symptoms and cravings may push an addicted person to relapsing. A medical detoxification program provides round the clock medical support as the person's body works on healing. This treatment helps to protect a person from relapsing and it prepares them for the very next stage of treatment.

To help a person so that he or she is more comfortable and to minimize or even prevent withdrawal symptoms and cravings, the appropriate medications may be administered as is needed.

Regardless of the drug rehab type you settle for, there is a high probability that you will find the following therapy kinds in place at the addiction recovery facility of your choice:

  • 12-step and non-12 support groups
  • Addiction education
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Complementary therapies, including equine therapy, yoga, meditation, biofeedback, massage therapy, and journaling
  • Coping techniques
  • Couples counseling
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Exercise therapy
  • External support groups
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy meetings
  • Individual counseling
  • Life skills training
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Relapse prevention
  • Stress management
  • Vocational training

Getting Help

Once you discover that you have a problem with drug and substance abuse, it is vital that you attend rehab as fast as possible. The longer you wait, the harder you make it for yourself to get back to a normal life governed by sobriety. The earlier you access a Vermont rehab program and begin treatment, the higher your chances of completely readjusting to sobriety and normal function are.


For more information about treatment centers in Vermont, Click Here.

Cities with Drug Rehab Centers in Vermont

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