Vermont Expands Addiction Treatment, But Can’t Keep Up With Demand

Vermont has responded to the state’s opiate addiction problem by expanding treatment, but many people are still waiting to receive help, according to NPR.

In January 2014, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin’s entire State of the State Message was devoted to drug addiction. He said the state was suffering from a “full-blown heroin crisis.” Shumlin said he wanted officials to respond to addiction as a chronic disease.

He called on the state to treat heroin addiction with treatment and support, instead of punishment and incarceration. In 2013, almost twice as many people in Vermont died from heroin overdoses as the previous year. The governor said every week, more than $2 million worth of heroin and other opiates are trafficked in Vermont. Almost 80 percent of the state’s inmates are jailed on drug-related charges. He asked for more funding for treatment programs, which he said is more cost-effective than incarceration. He also called for allowing people addicted to heroin to receive treatment as soon as they are arrested.

Full story of Vermont’s expanding addiction treatment at drugfree.org

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No Rush for Addiction Treatment Services in Wake of Healthcare Reform: Oregon Study

Despite predictions that healthcare reform would greatly increase the number of people seeking drug and alcohol treatment, a new study conducted in Oregon suggests so far, no big changes are occurring in that state.

“We’re not seeing any upticks in the number of people with drug or alcohol diagnoses, or changes in access to medications to treat alcohol and drug disorders,” says Dennis McCarty, PhD, Professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland.

McCarty, Principal Investigator for the Western States Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network, presented his findings at the recent American Psychological Association annual meeting.

Full story of addiction treatment and healthcare reform at drugree.org