In Vermont, like other states, the use of heroin and misuse of other opioids (e.g. prescription narcotics) is a major public health challenge. Such disorders increase pressure on our health care, child protection, and criminal justice systems, and has far-reaching effects on families and communities. Vermont is taking a multi-faceted approach to addressing opioid addiction that involves multiple community partners. The Health Department has a leading role in the State’s comprehensive strategy. The interventions for which the Health Department has responsibility, with public information, social marketing and messaging; pain management and prescribing practices; prevention and community mobilization; drug disposal; early intervention; overdose prevention and harm reduction; expanded access to treatment and recovery services; and recent legislation enacted. Additional information is available at http://www.healthvermont.gov/response/alcohol-drugs.
For more information, please search for the regularly updated drug-related fatalities data brief. In particular, the data brief includes information at the county level. Please note that in 2017, both the current and history.
Vermont drug-related fatalities data come from the Vermont Department of Health Vital Statistics System and are based on deaths of Vermonters.
The drug-related fatalities reported here include accidents, suicides, homicides and fatalities with undetermined intent. All deaths involved at least one legal or illicit opioid including: heroin or prescription drugs.
This report does not include deaths due to chronic substance use (such as HIV, liver disease, or infection); death due to injury related to substance use (i.e., car accident or falls) or deaths due to medical professional error.
It is important to note that most drug-related fatalities are due to combinations of substances (e.g., a prescription opioid and cocaine), not a single drug. Additionally, the circumstances under which each of these fatalities occurred are unique, and cannot all be attributed to addiction and/or dependence.
Beginning in 2017, the Drug- and Opioid- Related Fatality Briefs present data differently than in the past to be consistent with the methods used by the Center for Disease Control. The revised report has data on the total numbers of Vermont residents who died, regardless of where that death occurs (i.e. in Vermont or in another state). Previously, the Brief reported on the total number of deaths that occurred in Vermont, regardless of the decedent’s state of residence. For a more comprehensive explanation of the changes, see the methodology notes at the end of the Brief. All historic information has also been updated to be consistent with the 2017 data.