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Addison County Vermont Fighting the Opiate Epidemic

Over a year ago, the governor of Addison County, Vermont gathered the community to draw more awareness to opiate addiction and ways to make treatment more available. Since then, it looks like the county has been doing just that with the help of volunteer teams from the community. So what has Addison County been doing to help treat opiate addiction?

Opiate Addiction Volunteer Teams
By drawing attention to this issue and riling up the community to do more, the county has now seen an increase in volunteer teams to help those suffering with opiate addiction. These volunteer teams aren’t experts in opiate addiction but are high schoolers, community members and doctors wanting to help their county get clean.

Local Opiate Addiction Treatment

One of the main changes the governor of Addison County has made is to try and increase the treatments made available locally. If there aren’t any local then the governor has made transport to the nearest treatment facility possible. Local treatment options include acupuncture which helps supress opiate withdrawals.

A quote from Marcia LaPlante, director of community services and planning for the Vermont Department of Health, about what Addison County has so far managed to achieve:

“People have just stepped up in an incredible way. They got no additional state funds for this, and that has really been the remarkable thing”

Opiate Addiction Doctors

Addison County has now appointed three doctors to help with the opiate addiction treatment so that users don’t have to travel all the way to Burlington or Rutland which is over an hour away. If there are times that treatment may not be available, the county will provide transport to either Burlington or Rutland for the necessary treatment. 

Dr. Emily Glick of Bristol Internal Medicine, who served on the local committee advocating for treatment, has said the following about the treatment made available: “There was not any treatment in our area. There was kind of an outcry from the community, but also I was just seeing it a lot in my practice.”

After seeing opiate addiction in her own practice, Dr Emily Glick sought out training to be able to prescribe buprenorphine in 2013. Since then two additional doctors have also sought out the necessary training to prescribe opiate addiction treatment.

Community Opiate Addiction Forum

A forum was created called The Governor’s Community Forum on Opiate Addiction in 2014 so that a wide variety of people from doctors and lawyers to community members and opiate addiction experts could offer possible solutions. Upon setting up the forum, they were encouraged to also meet up and discuss solutions in more detail. The idea of creating a community based forum is unique and it certainly brought the community together to help tackle this problem.

Opiate Addiction Treatment Results

The work that Addison County and its members have put into Opiate addiction treatment really can be proven in their results. Since this amazing campaign started they have seen a massive 40% increase in people being treated between January 2014 and January 2015. That is compared with the 26% increase in treatments nationwide.

Hopefully more towns and communities will follow Addison County to try and decrease opiate use.


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