From pure maple syrup to incredible fall foliage and mountain vistas, Vermont is both a vacationers paradise and a cozy place to call home. Ben and Jerry’s, the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory and Lake Champlain Chocolate are just a few of the attractions that make Vermont famous.

But natural beauty cannot hide problems like drug addiction, and although addiction to prescription drugs in Vermont has leveled off over the past few years, the state has seen an increase in deaths from heroin and fentanyl overdose.

According to the Vermont Health Department, there were 15 heroin and fentanyl in 2013. Last year the number more than doubled to 53. Understanding these powerful drugs and where to go to find treatment for substance abuse can help you or a loved one prevent a tragedy.

Heroin use in Vermont

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heroin is an opioid made from morphine. Morphine is derived from the seed pod of the Asian poppy plant. Heroin comes as a white or brown powder, or a black sticky substance (black tar heroin).

People inject, snort or smoke heroin or mix it with crack cocaine. Heroin binds to opioid receptors in the brain, especially those directly linked to the feelings of pain or pleasure. Heroin also binds to the opioid receptors that control blood pressure, breathing and arousal. The short-term effects of heroin include almost instant feelings of euphoria and other side effects. These are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Heavy feelings in hands or feet
  • Skin flushing
  • Reduced and clouded mental functioning
  • Going back and forth between a conscious and semi-conscious state

A heroin overdose can result in breathing that is slowed or stops altogether. This lack of oxygen to the brain can result in permanent brain damage, coma or death.

Fentanyl Use in Vermont

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is like morphine only it is 50 to 100 times more potent. It is a Schedule II drug used in patients after surgery or who suffer from chronic, severe pain. Fentanyl is typically prescribed as an injection, transdermal patch or in lozenge form. Illegal Fentanyl is sold as a powder, on blotter paper, mixed with heroin, or as tablets meant to represent a less powerful opioid. Like heroin, Fentanyl works on opioid receptors in the brain. But because of the drug’s potency, fentanyl is much more likely to cause overdose and death.

Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Vermont

For those who struggle with drug abuse, there are many options when it comes to getting treatment in Vermont. The following are just a few of the programs available:

Valley Vista

An 80-bed facility located in Bradford. This facility provides medically-supervised detox, substance abuse treatment and buprenorphine services. Valley Vista is a dual-diagnosis treatment center and offers residential short-term treatment (less than 30 days), residential long-term treatment (more than 30 days), outpatient treatment, residential treatment and a day-treatment program. They accept private pay, Medicaid, state insurance programs and private insurance programs.

Brattleboro Retreat

Provides dual diagnosis and hospital-level treatment for those struggling with addiction and another mental health condition. Their adolescent treatment programs are designed for teens ages 13- 18 who are struggling with addiction and/or mental health or behavioral issues. They also provide “Starting Now,” an intensive outpatient treatment relapse prevention program.

Spectrum Youth and Family Services

Offers counseling, a drop-in center, supportive (half-way) housing, a drop-in youth health center, skills programs and mentoring for adolescents struggling with addiction issues. Spectrum accepts private pay, Medicaid, state insurance programs and private insurance.

Finding Help for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

If you or someone you loved struggles with drug or alcohol addiction, admitting you have a problem and reaching out for help is the first step. Finding the right addiction treatment program for your unique situation is crucial to successful recovery. For more information about available treatment options, call our toll-free number 24 hours a day. Our admissions coordinators are ready to answer your questions. You are not alone. Call us now.

Vermont Drug and Alcohol Rehabs