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Addiction Help: Opioid crisis is still with us

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Posted on July 3, 2017 |
By Jessi de Boer



Editor’s note: This is the first in a series produced in coordination with the Addison County Committee on Opiate Addiction. With the opiate addiction crisis still with us in Vermont, this is a reprise and update of a series that ran last summer.

 This week’s writer is Jessi de Boer, who is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor and a licensed clinical mental health counselor, is coordinator of Adult Recovery Services at Counseling Service of Addison County.

• • • • • • •

The Addison County Committee on Opiate Addiction has worked very diligently over the past years, in many different ways to help prevent, treat and help people recover from substance use disorders. This committee includes representatives from The Vermont Department of Health, UVM Health Network: Porter Medical Center, Turning Point Center, Court Diversion and Pre-trial Services, The United Way, Counseling Service of Addison County as well as agencies and community members.

As a collective community in Addison County we continue to understand, prevent and treat this critical disease that continues to touch so many families. In 2016 it claimed 112 lives by overdose in Vermont alone and has now surpassed the motor vehicle death rate in the United States.

Addison County should be proud of the progress made here: UVM Health Network: Porter Medical Center’s Medication Assisted Treatment program now serves 113 patients with continued hopes to expand treatment. This year Counseling Service of Addison County served 300 people in crisis and over 270 people in need of substance use treatment services. Turning Point Center of Addison County serves about 800 visitors a month and has distributed a total of 164 Narcan kits (a medication that can reverse opiate overdose).

We continue our efforts to help prevent substance use and addiction with our website (www.addictionhelpvt.com), community readings about addiction, visits to local schools to discuss substance use, abuse and addiction, outreach at local community events, supporting our local providers with new prescribing restrictions, promoting drug take-back days and working with agencies to gain more experience around how to build strong, healthy communities. Preventing people from becoming victims to substance use disorder is paramount and everyone in our community has a role; parents, schools, healthcare providers and community groups are all key players.

In the continued spirit of hope and working to prevent, treat and help individuals and our community recovery we offer a series of 10 articles, to be printed right here in the weeks to come. These articles will discuss what opioid use disorder is, how to help when addiction is in your home, where to turn for support and much more. 

For help today go to: www.addictionhelpvt.com. There is help right here in Addison County. 

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