Vermont’s opioid epidemic: Collaborating on a ‘public health crisis’

This article by Chris Mays originally appeared May 28 in the Brattleboro Reformer.

BRATTLEBORO — No strangers to the opioid crisis, three local officials are stressing the importance of working together.

“As has been said many times, we are not going to be able to arrest our way out of this epidemic and it is not a law enforcement crisis; it is truly a public health crisis,” Brattleboro Fire Chief Mike Bucossi, Brattleboro Police Chief Mike Fitzgerald and Brooks Memorial Library Director Starr LaTronica wrote in a memo earlier this month. “No one department, no one entity is going to beat this alone. It is going to take the collaboration of all of us.”

Brattleboro emergency responders went to more than 100 overdose calls in 2018 and seven resulted in death, according to the memo.

“We do not see that slowing down as we have recorded almost 50 responses and two fatalities through April 2019,” the officials wrote, adding that “the actual community-wide counts are likely higher.”

Read full article at the Brattleboro Reformer.

(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)

2 thoughts on “Vermont’s opioid epidemic: Collaborating on a ‘public health crisis’

  1. Sorry, but I disagree with the fire chief, police chief and library director. It has to start with the idea that drug addiction is bad for society. Therefore, enforce the laws and arrest drug users. That will get them under the control of the courts. The courts, lenient as they are, will direct the drug users to treatment. If the drug users succeed in treatment, they will be released from supervision. If they fail treatment they will continue under supervision of the court in other direction.

  2. When is Vermont going to get serious about our drug and alcohol problem? The majority in the legislature want recreational drugs to be big business in our state. Is this the right direction?

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