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A Heroin Scourge In Idyllic Vermont

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin just devoted his entire State of the State speech to the scourge of heroin. We’ll look at the heroin tide in pastoral Vermont and across the nation.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, right, departs the Statehouse House Chamber after the Governor's State of the State Address in Montpelier, Vt., on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (AP)

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, right, departs the Statehouse House Chamber after the Governor’s State of the State Address in Montpelier, Vt., on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (AP)

In the national imagination, Vermont stands for beautiful countryside, Green Mountains, maple syrup, good cheese, maybe Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.  Last week, the governor of Vermont got up for his annual state of the state speech and put another face on Vermont – the face of heroin and opiate addiction.  It was his whole focus.  A full-blown heroin crisis, he said, hitting every corner of the state.  And it’s not only Vermont.  A flood of opiate pain killer use and abuse has brought heroin right behind. This hour On Point:  the governor of Vermont, Peter Shumlin, and more, on the scourge of heroin now.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Gov. Peter Shumlin (D-VT), governor of the state of Vermont. (@GovPeterShumlin)

Tristram Coffin, U.S. District Attorney for the District of Vermont.

Caleb Banta-Green, research scientist and epidemiologist at the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington. Representative to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s ‘Drug Trends Work Group.’

From Tom’s Reading List

State of Vermont: Gov. Shumlin’s 2014 State of the State Address — “In every corner of our state, heroin and opiate drug addiction threatens us. It threatens the safety that has always blessed our state. It is a crisis bubbling just beneath the surface that may be invisible to many, but is already highly visible to law enforcement, medical personnel, social service and addiction treatment providers, and too many Vermont families. It requires all of us to take action before the quality of life that we cherish so much is compromised.”

ABC News: Scourge of Heroin Abuse in Vermont Mirrors National Epidemic –”The governor of Vermont devoted his entire State of the State speech on Wednesday to address the scourge of heroin abuse, a problem he described as a ‘full blown… crisis’ in his state, but which is also spreading across the country. Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, described an epidemic that ‘may be invisible to many,’ but which has increased in his state by 770 percent since 2000.”

Here & Now: Vt. Governor Confronts State’s Opiate Addiction Crisis — “Vermont, like most of New England, has become an epicenter for heroin and prescription opiate trafficking. Since last year, deaths from opiate overdoses have doubled in Vermont, and the number of Vermonters seeking treatment has increased 771 percent since 2000. Crimes related to opiates has also increased. Now, 80 percent of Vermont’s inmates are locked up for drug-related crimes.”

Listen To The Full Audio Of Gov. Peter Shumlin’s State Of the State Address

Watch A Trailer For “The Hungry Heart”

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  • Valerie Albee

    I am one Mom who lost my beautiful daughter September 7, 2012 to heroin. I’m getting an anxiety attack just writing about this. I, like many parents tried everything to help her. She was addicted to pills from her former boyfriend. Before that, it was various other drugs and many rehabs. I have said to my closest friends and family that this is an epidemic that no one is addressing. I was so moved by Governor Peter Shumlin’s speech that finally somebody is talking about this. I only wish I still had my daughter who died at 29. We send our soldiers to fight wars that I feel are senseless……we need to spend the money on the fight against heroin.

    • hennorama

      Valerie Albee — thank you for bravely sharing your painful story.

      My sincere condolences for your loss.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Institute the death penalty for drug dealers since their actions lead to death, higher crime, and other unacceptable social costs. And I mean a death penalty that is executed quickly rather than endless appeals led by left wing extremist organizations like the ACLU that drag on for years and even decades at tremendous financial and emotional cost to the taxpayer, the victims and society in general. Due process is one thing…endless appeals that drag on for years and years is simply justice denied. Active use of the death penalty would save millions of dollars in prison costs as these dealers would be disposed of without the cost of incarceration. Plus, it would stimulate the economy as it would result in jobs being created.

    • skelly74

      Does this include reckless doctors who push pills for every whimsical “issue” a patient mentions during an examination? The business of drug dealing is not only in a back alley.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Developing an automated system which keeps track of abused drugs as they do for narcotics should certainly be part of the discussion.

    • James

      That would be rather expensive my friend

      • Ray in VT

        Nah, not if those darned dirty libs aren’t there to make sure that the wrong people aren’t getting executed. Innocent people don’t need no civil liberties union to watch out that they don’t get quickly executed for something that they didn’t do. We can probably even find more things to execute people for, like wearing a shirt made from two fabrics (sarcasm off).

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          It’s too bad that liberals don’t show the same level of concern for the innocent unborn as they do for repeat drug dealing offenders.

          • Ray in VT

            I find the difference between a cluster of cells a few weeks after implantation to be far, far different than a fully developed, if somewhat poorly managed, life that has been lived.

        • jefe68

          Hey, if a few innocent people get executed, well that’s the price we pay for purging our nation of “undesirables”.

          • Ray in VT

            The doctrine of acceptable losses perhaps.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Cultural Revolution.

    • Acnestes

      For every complex problem there’s a simple solution and it’s wrong.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Except when it comes to the government throwing trillions of dollars for all kinds of social programs that don’t work, I guess.

        • Ray in VT

          Easier to end a bunch of lives when there’s no evidence that the death penalty deters crime. Much easier to execute someone for selling drugs than to try to deal with the problems that led him and the users to those points.

          • jefe68

            It speaks to this persons complete lack of understanding the economics of drugs and addiction. Also the role pharmaceuticals are playing in this by developing dumping stronger opiates onto the market place.

            One can look at Greece in this regard, drug addiction as sky rocketed there as the economy has been in it downward spiral. Also not how right wing extremist, (not unlike this guy here) have increased in numbers.

        • Don_B1

          The amount “thrown into all kinds of social programs” is dwarfed by the amount just wasted in the Department of Defense on unnecessary weapons programs and then the trillions$ in special loopholes for the fossil fuel extraction industries and other business special tax loopholes, which benefit the wealthy.

    • nj_v2

      More death, more guns, more power in the hands of authority. Typical right-wing response to complex, multi-layered problems.

      Try suggesting the death penalty for a corporation for dumping toxics in the environment which cause death and illness and see how they respond.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        or the financial shenanigans, I could go for that.

      • Don_B1

        I guess West Virginia has a candidate corporation ripe for that approach.

        But I doubt that it would go too far as (coal and other extractive industry) corporations basically own that state.

    • jefe68

      Wow. Flagged.

    • Don_B1

      The reason that “liberals” as exemplified by the ACLU work to slow executions is that laws like this one you are proposing are fraught with misuse and often innocent people are caught up in them. It is bad enough when people are innocent people have to defend themselves against misuse, but when such people are executed, there is no “remedy.”

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      I’d go for “stripped naked and staked out in the desert for the vultures” for heroin dealers. 1 strike = 4 stakes.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        But can you prove the effectiveness of that? :)

    • hennorama

      Fiscally_Responsible — please point to the studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of the death penalty as a deterrent to crime in the U.S.

      • HonestDebate1

        How is it possible to measure how many crimes are not committed?

        • Don_B1

          People who are interested in learning the effectiveness of policies have found several ways to make credible estimates:

          1) Determine the change in murder rates when the death penalty is enabled or disabled.

          2) Compare the murder rates in comparable social groups when one has a death penalty and the other doesn’t.

          Of course, you actually are aware of that, but acknowledging it would not suit your purpose here, that of distracting from or confusing the discussion of the issue.

  • alsordi

    Let’s talk about where the raw material for heroin comes from (Afghanistan) and how the Taliban restricted its growth, until the invasion by the US and how drugs made up a large portion of the CIA’s secret accounts.

    • Matthew J Hall

      Good big picture topic!

    • jefe68

      Except most of that goes to Europe.
      The majority of heroin sold in the US comes from Mexico.
      What we have here is a prescription drug problem.

      • alsordi

        Hey Jefe, Don’t minimize the issue. There is plenty of heroin in the US from AFGHANISTAN, and it comes through Mexico too. Aren’t you following ?
        As for prescription drugs, you are correct. People in the US have become so neurotic and disenfranchised from reality, that Big Farma is raking in the profits.

        • jefe68

          I’m not minimizing anything.
          Most heroin coming into the US comes from Mexico, not Afghanistan.

  • James

    Heroin addiction is a disease, not a crime. I hope Governor Shumlin recognizes this.

    • skelly74

      The distinction between labeling addiction a disease should not effect treatment. People tend to lean on the “disease” as a factor introduced to their life outside of their control. Of course, we should not say it’s a crime once addiction is controlling the individual. Unfortunately, it is usually the individual choice to stop using and letting the body and mind heal. The tendency to seek help from the system negates their own power to help themselves.

    • Don_B1

      While correct that addiction is a disease, the problem is that some (large?) proportion of addicts get addicted from poor choices that they make at some point in their lives, through a myriad of reasons, not least peer pressure.

      But once they are addicted, it is a social problem because of the side effects of a large population of addicts. And using the criminal system to separate those people from the remainder of society does not work as each addict tends to have a family or close friends who are cut off and lose economic support. When that number rises to a threshold level as can happen easily as the addict population rises, the societal consequences are sizeable as the U.S. is discovering now with over half its 2 million prisoners incarcerated for drug-related causes.

      The bottom line: it will be expensive to provide drug treatment for addicts but less so than imprisoning them, as even Republicans like Rand Paul are recognizing.

  • Tom_Goodwin

    Vermont’s biggest problem: it’s so close to Massachusetts, which I believe is the epicenter of heroin on the East Coast. My junkie girlfriend (after a while in jail, so she was straight) told me that it comes in, largely, to New Bedford via ship. Then it goes to key distribution points, the main one being Lawrence. Heroin is so cheap, so plentiful and so strong, that most of the young people who get strung out on opioid painkillers switch over to it- it’s easier to get and costs less.

  • Ray in VT

    I think that former Governor Howard Dean was concerned about the long term effects of making opiate pills move widely available, and on this issue his concern was, I think, quite well founded, considering what has happened on the issue.

  • stephenreal

    cheaper than oxycontin

  • LianeSperoni

    Are most drug treatment programs paid for by private insurance?

  • Matthew J Hall

    Does the governor NOT believe that access/use to other “lower level” drugs – such as marijuana – can be the gateway for youth to exploration and use/addition to other “higher level” drugs such as heroin?

  • Leonard Bast

    The heroin crisis in Vermont is very real and is related to a host of other problems. Vermont may seem idyllic on the surface, especially to those who vacation here or drive through, but there are a lot of very real and fundamental problems. Quality, affordable housing is very difficult to come by. Jobs tend to be low-paying service jobs that do not pay a livable wage. Taxes are high and feed a vast and cumbersome state bureaucracy that is not always responsive to the citizenry. There is very little opportunity for young people, who flee the state in droves; those who stay are often beset by hopelessness. Add these dismal ingredients together along with our proximity to the urban areas of Massachusetts and NY, along with the fact that law enforcement, especially in rural areas of the state, tends to be the pokey policing of an earlier era, and you get a nasty mix.

    • LianeSperoni

      Where do young people from VT go for greater opportunity? I think the problems you describe exist about everywhere, it’s America’s problem.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      I would have thought that the utopian paradise known as Vermont, with such ideal features as Bernie Sanders, the most liberal governmental representatives in the country, etc. etc. would not have these sorts of problems. I guess that becoming more left wing extremist is what is required.

      • Ray in VT

        Everybody has problems. Being filled with the sorts that want to push religion into science class, the government into women’s wombs or the Bible into our law are not some of them, thankfully.

        • Coastghost

          But then everyone else gets what they wish for, I guess would be the moral of this story: so Vermont kiddies won’t have their pharmacological science or hydraulic engineering classes debased or defiled with irrelevant biblical studies, the heroin will flow that much more readily into their veins; since govt. won’t be pushing sexual continence, it can help the mother kill her maternal instinct (which following the same logic would simply give the unwelcome mother her own heroin OD); and since law is merely the apotheosis of preferred outcomes, may as well legalize heroin use courtesy of the Vermont version of the Affordable Care Tax Act and hope state and Federal suppliers can get their bureaucratic hands on the cheapest heroin available. (I suggest the Obama Administration open up opium trade talks with Karzai’s Afghanistan ASAP.)
          Where’s democratic governance when you want it? Sounds like Vermonters are calling for cheap, clean heroin and lots of it.

          • Ray in VT

            How’s that oxy problem going down in the Bible Belt? Probably doesn’t exist, because good ole fashioned red ‘Merica wouldn’t do such things.

          • jefe68

            They have a huge meth problem.
            It’s the worst in the Midwest states, particularly the Red and rural states such as Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/07/meth-states_n_4057372.html

          • Ray in VT

            Meth has been a growing problem in New York as well. Busting up labs there seems to be in the papers quite a bit:

            http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/cops-found-93-meth-labs-new-york-state-2013-article-1.1463515

          • adks12020

            Meth is bad enough in Northwestern NY that there are billboards all over the place about the issue. They’ve been there for 10+ years. Drug abuse in rural areas is certainly not new. It’s the same in every rural area of the country.

          • Ray in VT

            I only see a few billboards when I go to my brother’s, but I haven’t seen any on that issue. He’s up in the “North Country”, and they’ve busted 6th or 7th graders at my nephew’s school with cocaine.

          • adks12020

            Yeah, I lived in the North Country (Plattsburgh) for about 6 years. Heroin, oxy and meth were everywhere up there. My girlfriend at the time was from Watertown. That’s where I saw the billboards, along the northern border of NY/Canada and near Watertown.

          • Ray in VT

            My brother is up in Ellenburg. There is some sketchy stuff that goes on up there.

          • jefe68

            Border towns have a history of being sketchy. I once had an extended stay in Richford VT. That was an eye opener.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, that’s got a bit of a bad rap too. On the other hand there is Newport, which is quite nice. Derby used to have quite the reputation for smuggling cattle across the border.

          • John Cedar

            It is unlikely that billboards or other media public service announcements, has any correlation with a need for them. Only the private sector can be counted on to spend money on such things in a rational way.

          • Don_B1

            Now that is funny!

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. I really see the private sector all over the campaign to get people to not drink and drive. They’ve really nailed it by tacking “please drink responsibly” onto the end of every beer commercial.

          • mjhoop

            OH, ha ha ha !!!!
            Good one.

          • Ray in VT

            ??

      • jefe68

        Yeah, and in Red states they have huge meth problems. You can spend this hour pointing your partisan right wing meme finger if you want. But it’s not going to do a anything but show that you will use any show on the forum to forward ignorance and intolerance.

        By the way, this problem is also huge in New Hampshire and Maine. Which are not exactly “liberal” states.

        • BHA_in_Vermont

          Meth is big in lots of places. You can’t buy Sudafed in Oregon without a prescription. Lots of states sell it “OTC” through the pharmacy, once you have given your name, address and phone number.

          • mjhoop

            Same in red-ruination NC. Imagine how surprised I was –before sudafed went under the counter and one had to produce an ID to buy it–to see a house near me burn to the ground while the firemen watched just to see the fire didn’t get out of control.
            It had been used as a meth lab and the cookers took off when the fire started. The firemen were not going near that place for their own health and welfare. So, I still wonder, did they know ahead of time it was used for meth making? Or do they have some way of figuring it out when they arrive on the scene?

          • Don_B1

            If they made a preliminary entry it could well have been obvious.

            Whether they had one or not, I believe there are detectors that can detect various deadly combustion (or other) gases (from outside the building) if there are openings, which would have alerted them to the problem.

      • Leonard Bast

        I’ve lived in red states and in blue. Despite the problems I outlined above, I would choose to live in Bernie Sanders’ Vermont (as I’m sure you would characterize it) over any of the red states I have known. The problems in those places, including economic problems, lack of education, crime, etc., are far worse, and people there are less open about admitting them and addressing them.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      The one person I know that had a heroin problem does not fit any of that. Middle class kid, bullied in middle and high school. Joined the wrong crowd where acceptance took nothing more than doing what they did. He turned to pot to “escape” the pain in his life, then moved on up to hard core, very nearly died.

  • William

    China’s leading Progressive, Mao, did a pretty good job eliminating their drug problem after he took power in 1949. We can’t use the extreme methods he employed, but locking up addicts in treatment centers (for their own and our good) until they can get clean is a good option. It is expensive and takes a long time to get a junkie clean, but better than locking them up in prison.

    • jefe68

      Little problem with that. It’s called their Constitutional Rights. Anyway we already lockup more people than any other developed nation and it’s not working.

      80 percent of Vermont’s inmates are locked up for drug-related crimes, it seems that’s not working.

      • William

        I do agree we lock up too many people for non-violent crimes but how to reduce crime if you don’t punish criminals? Non-violent junkies should be tossed into treatment vice jail, but what to do with junkies that don’t want treatment and still commit crimes?

        • jefe68

          That’s already done in some states.
          That cost money. You can’t have low tax ideology and also want services.

          Our prisons are bursting at the seams and then you add the privatization aspect and one really ends up with a revolving door of incarceration.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Addiction services, given they are robust, as William is suggesting, is certainly a Elemental Safety Net aspect I would support. I would include means testing in payback schemes.

          • jefe68

            Well then that means taxes to pay for them. Also, we need to get the pharmaceutical industry as well as most people are getting addicted to prescription medication.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Nothing wrong with basic taxes for basic safety net programs. Lot of room between that and massive social engineering schemes that many support.

          • Don_B1

            When you consider the additional contributions from creating wage earners from prisoners and healthier families instead of dysfunctional families, the cost of current social services could drop more than enough to pay for all, or at least much, of the treatment costs.

          • mjhoop

            If only there were not three job-seekers for every open position already. And if companies didn’t ask one employee todo the work of two or three……then maybe you would be right.

          • Don_B1

            I was just thinking of the issue in a normal economy, not today’s (hopefully!*) temporary economy.

            * Only temporary if the Tea/Republicans have a “Damascus Moment” and reverse themselves on their demands for Austerity, Austerity, Austerity Now, Now, Now, which has had the effect of crippling the economy and dragging out a slow tentative recovery.

            I have explained the effects of the actions of the “debt hawks” on the recovery from the Great Recession many times on various On Point programs.

          • William

            A redirection of funds from failing programs to drug treatment programs would most likely get broad support. Certainly, we have seen the justice system turn into a profit center for the private sector and government too.

          • Don_B1

            The problem is in the definition/determination of what is a “failing program.”

            Many of the programs you would wrongly consider “failing” are the social programs that help the poor when they are poor, but give them reverse incentives to take up the possible upward mobility because the government usually claws back as much as 80% of the support it has been provided when the earnings of the person increase only slightly. See:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/13/opinion/krugman-enemies-of-the-poor.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&_r=0

            You can skip over the parts that show why there is Republican opposition to correcting this; just think of the actual parts of current law that create an effective marginal tax rate that applies to the poor that the wealthy would consider conscriptive.

          • Don_B1

            Then when you add in the difficulty for ex-convicts to get work and how that contributes to recidivism, imprisoning addicts is almost a guarantee of not solving the problem.

          • HonestDebate1

            You can’t have low tax ideology and also want services.”

            That’s crazy on many levels. First you are equating low taxes with low revenue which is not valid. And you are also disregarding any sense of priority. We subsidize the Chevy Volt to the tune of $7500 per car sold. We lost millions on Solyndra alone and billions on the GM deal. We had no business being involved in either. And if you are going to say the auto industry would have died without the bailout then save it because that’s even crazier. We even paid for a treadmill for shrimp.

          • jefe68

            Low taxes means low revenue.

          • Don_B1

            Every claim you made here is just BS, and all that has been explained on various On Point programs.

            But you are not here to take any new information in and recognize its accuracy. You are here to make blatantly false claims and distort and distract the discussion from the main issue.

      • William

        I would think sentencing a drug addict/abuser to a treatment center would be legal. I do agree we lock up too many people.

      • Buster1

        Executives at Banks do not have the cosntitutional rights to money launder or peddle dope. sorry we have rico laws that allow us to lock up assholes who money launder and deal dope.

    • James

      How far do you take that though? I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to sweets, if I go a day without a candy bar or a snack cake or something my body lets me know? I’m also overweight and borderline obese? Should I be locked up until I kick my sugar habit? Should cigarette smokers be locked up? Where do you draw the line?

      • jefe68

        What about drunk drivers and alcoholics?

      • William

        Looking forward your medical provider/insurance company will go after you to change your diet and if you smoke you will face much higher payments or just drop you. I can think of no worse slow death than being addicted to a drug like Heroin.

      • John Cedar

        Have you tried sugar rehab?

    • Buster1

      The heroin problem in VT can be directly connected to the Walgreens Oxycontin 80 million dollar fine and no jail time for executives directed by Eric Holder and Eric Holders handling of the drug dealers at HSBC they were peddling dope and laundering the money they were given a small fine 1% of their business.

      It is the man who serves at the pleasure of the President Eric Holder and his looking the other way and failure to jail the criminals driving the opiate problems.

      It starts with Walgreens smurfing scrips from Florida on buses all Floridians were on daily doses of Oxycontin ?

      The Walgreens executives too busy buying yachts and mansions and sports cars to realize no way in hell that those prescriptions were illegal?

      These people “executives”should be locked up their stores seized not slapped on the wrist with small fines. But the president will not hire a prosecutor capable of locking up criminals who poison our citizens.

      We always talk about finding the big fish the kingpins and Eric Holder had them in the net and let them all swim away.

  • LianeSperoni

    According to the ABC report that is linked to, this is a growing problem everywhere, not just VT

    • Don_B1

      The first sentence of the introduction does say “and across the nation.”

      But the fact that it is not unique to Vermont cannot be stated too strongly.

      The part that may not be emphasized here enough it that it is the rural regions that have the biggest parts of this latest infestation. In other words, it is not the inner city this time.

      One of the hypothesized reasons is that in rural areas there is much less for the young to do, just as 40 years ago it was the inner city where youth did not have enough to do.

      • TFRX

        I guess none of the Value-American red state governors answered the phone to come on NPR and talk about their state’s drug problems.

        • Don_B1

          You may well be correct, in that it seems that Red State politicians tend to ignore government solutions to their social problems, from teenage pregnancy to drug abuse, unless they are law enforcement solutions, though there are indications that this may be changing.

          This type of discussion might not be what they want to engage in.

  • jefe68

    How do you think you are? This poor woman lost here child and you have the nerve to post this dreck. By the way idiot, addiction has a lot to do with brain chemistry, that’s why some people become alcoholics and others do not.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      You can handle your heroin?

      There is nothing wrong with gumbo adding his opinion that the “permissive” or “cool” stereotypes are PART of the problem, which is a fact, and just like cigarettes, there should be an undercurrent of disapproval for how foolish, self-destructive, and dangerous getting involved with hard drugs is.

      If you want to start fine tuning, suggesting to teens that they may have a chance that their brain chemistry can handle heroin, coke, meth or the like, you are really not helping.

      This point can be made without offending, or disrespecting people who have personal connections to addiction.

      The moment as a youth when we are looking some new drug in the face and deciding what to do for the first time, is a very real, and very consequential moment.

      Whether or not popular culture thinks its cool or edgy, or whether armchair neuroscientists want to bloviate about brain chemistry is what’s insulting.

      • jefe68

        Except both of you are making some wild assumptions and gross generalities based on this persons post.

        I happen to know from personal experience that what you’re on about is BS.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          I have deep respect for that post, and am not referring to it at all, other than my respect and sympathies, having lost a family member to addiction as well.

          I am commenting on you response to gumbo, trying to erase his point of view in the name of sensitivity, which is par for the course, and in the long run, a disservice to progress.

          • jefe68

            Sorry for the miscommunication.

  • Coastghost

    Sounds like shredded social fabric in Vermont, and it sounds as if Shumlin has presided over it now for years. Sounds like a governor and a state made for each other. Sounds like a job for the Affordable Care Tax Act!

    • Echo4Sierra

      Governor terms in VT are only two years. The situation was completely ignored by the former governor.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Dumb

  • LianeSperoni

    even high income youth can be scared about their future in this economy

  • Coastghost

    Note how taxonomy does NOT reduce the scope of a problem: “illegal drug use is a crime!” (but prisons continue to fill up); “illegal drug use is a disease!” (but hospitals never cure and simply release the drug-addled back onto our sordid streets).

  • MLRider

    my dad recently had minor surgery in Florida to remove a small growth on his leg. He was given a prescription for FORTY Oxycontin. We all know Florida is the leader in prescription drug abuse, and it seems the system is heavily stacked against individuals. WHY WOULD YOU POSSIBLY GIVE AN 88-OLD MAN FORTY Oxycontin after minor surgery?

  • Ed

    My daughters friend, here in Vt, has been through heroin addiction treatment and is still in high school. How have we spent 12 years in Afghanistan and not addressed the supply problem there?

    • jefe68

      Hate to tell you this, but most of the opium used to make heroin goes to Europe. It’s also the main cash crop in Afghanistan.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Drug dealers want opium
      Drug dealers pay for opium
      Farmers can’t make much money on other crops

      We tried. Drug dealers are at the farms daily if necessary to make sure the farmers are doing their “job”, we were there sporadically.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      If there’s a demand, there will always be a supply. Address the former and fruitless attempts to staunch the latter won’t be necessary.

  • Don_B1

    An aspect of your condition that I had never known of until the death of the Glee star last year (summer?) was that once an addict, the amount used when relapsing can be more dangerous than most addicts realize, and it appears that it is real easy to overdose.

  • Coastghost

    I seem to detect a Democratic drug trail: the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts IS a Democrat, correct? Why is he treating his fellow Democratic governors across New England to an unambiguous deluge of heroin flow? Why would a Democratic governor behave so anti-socially?

    • jefe68

      I seem to detect a right wing meme trail here.

      • Coastghost

        Ahhh, but only if heroin colors the Left’s meme trail (hypodermic syringes are a potent metaphorical device: can you imagine what “mainlining Progress” could consist of? Wow, man!)

        • Ray in VT

          Perhaps part of the problem is demand driven. Affluence may play a role. Perhaps the nearly 20% higher median income in Vermont versus South Carolina plays some sort of role. I guess that being impoverished helps to solve some problems.

          • Coastghost

            Sounds like affluence is acquired with attendant costs, to my ears.

          • Ray in VT

            Mo’ money, mo’ problems they say.

            Maybe that’s why African Americans were so repressed south of the Mason Dixon for so long. Society’s betters were just looking to keep them from having the problems that having money created.

          • Coastghost

            I for one am glad we had our plague of carpetbaggers when we did: if we were to suffer their invasion today, no telling how much H they’d be injecting into our citizens.

          • Ray in VT

            We had the good fortune to never really have migration from your region, except for those who were trying to get across the Canadian border before the slave catchers caught up with them.

          • jefe68

            What?

          • Coastghost

            (You need to query Ray about the benefits accrued in the invasion of the carpetbaggers during “Reconstruction”, real agents for Progress, all histories of the period agree.)

          • Ray in VT

            Well, they must not have been able to achieve much, as the racist regime that the war should have swept away remained stubbornly in place for quite some time. Interesting how even though the argument is that integration would raise all boats, those in power chose to perpetuate a system that promoted a system that held the region back. One might be tempted to conclude that people do not, in fact, act in accordance with their best economic interests.

          • Coastghost

            Affluent heroin abuse does seem in fact and in truth to add vigor to your argument, Ray: indeed, I suspect a downward slide in your state’s rates of affluence at least as long as Vermonters continue clamoring for their heroin fixes. (I mean: Afghanistan is awash in raw opium, but it’s hardly an affluent country, by most metrics.)

          • Ray in VT

            Mo’ money mo’ problems.

          • jefe68

            I should phrased that, what!

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s mighty close to saying being back makes you poor.

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed, all the backs are poor, especially when it is by social design. Keep the backs uneducated and poor, just like they was in the good ole days, before all of this civil rights and entitlement, you know, when the backs didn’t sing the blues or nothin’.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s just weird.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s sick.

          • HonestDebate1

            What’s sick?

          • Ray in VT

            Alrighty then.

          • HonestDebate1

            Brilliant, have a nice day.

          • Ray in VT

            I thought so. It’s from this new piece of software that I have developed: the honest debate automatic dismissatron 5000. You just turn it on and it kicks out some sort of canned two or three word sentence to whatever someone else says. You as well.

          • jefe68

            Hilarious.

          • Don_B1

            That meme was expressed in Robert Bork’s book, Slouching Toward Gomorrah, where he proposed a recession/depression to decrease the affluence of the working classes to limit their ability to be ‘sinful.”

          • Ray in VT

            Really? What great insight. Maybe we need another Vietnam to thin out their ranks, to either quote or paraphrase Bart Simpson.

    • walla walla

      You’re doing a great job of poisoning the well with all these partisan non-sequitors! It’s easy for reasonable people to spot a hack.

      • Coastghost

        But probably not as well as any Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who gets to oversee criminal activity carried on in broad daylight in its ports. Where is Vermont outrage with Massachusetts graft and corruption?

    • jimino

      I’m curious, what drugs are you on that have the obvious effect of disorganized, flight-filled thought process with convoluted syntax? Or is it that the drugs in question are just not working on your underlying conditon which is showing through? Either way I suggest professional help. Hopefully it’s available where you live.

      • Coastghost

        Caffeine deficiency, doubtless: my second cup is poised for consumption.

  • Markus6

    It’s a big problem, but would love to hear better analysis than the simplistic “it affects all groups the same” (I’m paraphrasing). It’s rare for anything to affect all groups the same. We should be smart enough and have enough data to know the impact based on economics, gender, age, race, whatever. If we know this, we can better target a solution.

  • James

    Health care needs to be and active action not passive.

    Heh, it’s almost as if everyone knows that they will be taken care by someone one else if they get sick, therefore, they don’t have to worry about actively staying healthy.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Some people, many perhaps, will see the see the safety net under them as an opportunity to hang out on the corner of Easy Street and Got-it-Made Blvd.

      Undoing the poverty mind-set and careless forays into drug addiction are serious problems we don’t understand. as a society – and many of our reactions to it only make it worse. Early Childhood Intervention anyone?

  • http://argonnechronicles.blogspot.com/ Dee

    Research has shown that kids with ADHD who take stimulant medications are LESS likely to take drugs later. I think many who turn toward drugs are those who have not been diagnosed with ADHD or other mental health issues and are SELF-medicating with illegal drugs. Better mental health care using medications where needed and also behavioral therapy throughout the lifespan is needed.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      I can see why. I have narcolepsy and was recently given a prescription for Ritalin to supplement provigil. I stopped taking it after a couple of days because it put my brain into a pre-migraine fog. Concentration ability = ZERO. I would have been just as effective accomplishing anything at all by sitting in front of a TV test pattern for hours. If it has the same effect on kids with ADHD, I can see why they wouldn’t want to do other drugs. They don’t enjoy the feeling of having their brains turned to mush.

      • http://argonnechronicles.blogspot.com/ Dee

        I often hear that ADHD meds won’t work the same way if you don’t have ADHD, although I think it has more to do with finding the right medication/dose. My son is on meds and it was not just a case of here, take this. It was finding what worked with him. He went from zero concentration in class with no meds, to some concentration, to ability to actually participate and recall what was taught. Dramatic change.

    • John Cedar

      Dr. Laura used to claim the opposite corolation was true.

      • http://argonnechronicles.blogspot.com/ Dee

        Laura Schleslinger? Not what I would call a medical authority!

  • Charlie, St. Johnsbury

    I moved to Vermont 10 years ago, I’m a recovering heroin addict, been sober for 13 years. Vermont’s drug problem, like other rural areas is linked in large part to economic conditions and town snobbery. Low income resources, parole and probation, planned parenthood, meth clinics are all pushed into towns, like Barre, Rutland and Saint Johnsbury. These towns have been struggling economically and with drug issues for years and this town-centric attitude just makes the problem worse. Rather than ,spreading it out. it localizes and expands it in these areas. And that’s fine for those living in towns like Montpelier — just 10 miles from Barre, but a world away. Most residents of this town would NEVER live in Barre or Saint Johnsbury ( some won’t even cross into it’s borders to visit) because it has a bad reputation and image ( which in fact these people helped to create ). Instead of propagating negative town stereotypes these so-called Vermonters should put their money where their mouth is and move into these towns, open businesses, make a positive impact and stop pushing all low income services into specific towns.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Perhaps low income services predominate in places you’ve mentioned because there’s a greater need. Yes, opening businesses and creating steady jobs would help immensely.

  • skelly74

    Pharmaceutical companies are pushing drugs for “restless leg syndrome”. Give me a break. You can’t sleep because of your restlessness? Jump on a treadmill.

    People need to smarten up alot. Trust yourself. Endorse self-reliance.

  • M S

    And liberals say there is no need to secure the border. I tend to blame the dealer and not the addict.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      But the dealer is really just another victim.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Regardless of our efforts to perhaps legalize the less dangerous recreational drugs like pot, we will always face a point where a drug “is over the line” for us in terms of allowing sale to the general public. At that point, we will still have dealers, and should still treat them accordingly.

      • M S

        How so? I’ve been poor and out of work before and dealing drugs never crossed my mind. Dealers are a particular sort who do not care about the effects of their labor.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          I was being sarcastic.

          • M S

            Wasn’t sure by your moniker; I apologize.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Everyone is a victim. No one should go to jail. What liberal clap trap.

        • Ray in VT

          Yeah, Republicans really know how to go after the criminals, like in Olde Waginia, where at least some still want the law to go after the real criminals, like the homersexuals.

    • HonestDebate1

      I blame the addict.

      • M S

        I don’t. Humans can be weak.

        • HonestDebate1

          Yes they can but it’s not an excuse. I think it’s irrelevant anyway, the focus should be on getting them help.

      • northeaster17

        I have an idea. Lets build a bunch of prisons some run by the state some by for profit corporations. That’s where we will put the addicts. What could go wrong?

      • Ray in VT

        Like Rush. He did his time, right?

        • HonestDebate1

          Sure, Rush would tell you the same. He never blamed anyone for his problem. He says rehab was the best thing that ever happened for him. I don’t get your point.

          • Ray in VT

            He seemed to not be very tough on crime when it might end up being his turn to be someone’s girlfriend in the slammer. I guess that what was good for the goose was not good for the gander.

          • HonestDebate1

            Where’s you get that? Media Matters?

            He was cleared and vindicated. Never mind, you’re not interested in the truth.

          • Ray in VT

            He got off light, but I guess that hard time for drug offenses is for the little people. Not the special ones like him.

      • jefe68

        I blame inane people who make ignorant comments.

        • HonestDebate1

          Do you blame the grocer if you’re fat?

          • J__o__h__n

            You know that they do.

          • HonestDebate1

            The farmer too.

          • jefe68

            No. You made a dumb comment that speaks volumes about you. And yes it’s about you and your inability to even try to understand how addiction affects people.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s your opinion but mine is different. I know plenty about how addiction affects people, plenty. I have expressed the need for compassion more than once today. I dismissed nothing.

            Blaming the dealer is a copout.

  • Rick Evans

    sarc -Has the governor gotten any advice from Rush Limbaugh on how to deal with the problem.

  • Coastghost

    Are Democrats fomenting illegal drug use? Democratic governors in Massachusetts, New York, Vermont. What dire coincidence, otherwise!

    • Ray in VT

      It is interesting to note that the states at the top of the violent crime rate list are all run by Republicans. So I suppose that one should be asking the question as to whether Republicans are fomenting violent crime.

      • Coastghost

        Republicans doubtless are more committed to executing violent criminals than Democrats are to dispensing fatal overdoses to self-made drug sociopaths. The facilitation of death is handled quite differently by our two parties: I guess it all comes down to aesthetics.

    • Echo4Sierra

      Can’t speak for NY and MA but it is not a political issue in VT.

    • northeaster17

      assinine

      • jefe68

        Yep. He gets my vote for the asinine comment of the day.

        • Coastghost

          Have some patient understanding! I’m only one person! Can you begin to guess how hard it is to attempt to anticipate an entire week’s worth of Democratic malfeasance and misfeasance? Where are Progressives’ sympathies for overworked and underappreciated commentators? I mean, your philanthropic charm leaves something to be desired . . .

          • jefe68

            Asinine.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    You know what we really need? Some kind of “war on drugs” to deal with the problem. Don’t worry, though: it won’t cost you your civil liberties, and surely the problem will be solved 40 years from now.

    I also like the governor’s creative approach to health problems. Clearly, by equating heroin addiction to heart health, Governor Shumlin is suggesting we imprison people who don’t agree to diet and exercise changes when confronted with heart disease. That’s truly outside-the-box thinking when it comes to reining in health care costs.

    • Bonnie S

      Governor Shumlin’s speech was about offering heroin addicts treatment instead of prison. Way to twist his message around.

      • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

        You left out the part where if they turn it down, they go through the legal system (instead of being left alone, despite not hurting anyone else).

        Shumlin said it, not me.

        • Bonnie S

          That’s better than not having that choice. Some people just can’t acknowledge improvement, I guess.

          If it were under my control, no addict who hasn’t committed a crime of actual violence or theft would be facing jail, but I’m not making the rules.

  • Echo4Sierra

    I’ve been watching this situation escalate in VT over the past few years. It was ignored for too long because LEOs need more education on how to work with this problem. The Amtrak makes it easy for NY to distribute in VT. Any given night on my town green, there are dealers selling to teenagers. And just a few miles away in Rutland, the selling is worse. The park by the train station took out the benches because the town selectmen thought it would ease the problem! Vermont needs to learn from big cities that have been working on the drug problem for longer than VT.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Like NY? Lets he how the recent changes go there…..

    • Ray in VT

      I’ve long jokingly thought that one solution to some of our issues would be to close the roads and bridges to New York.

      • Echo4Sierra

        interesting thought, especially since I know of no issues the with Canadian border.

        • Ray in VT

          How so? Attempts, and likely successes, at smuggling things across that border occur. No border, wall, fence or moat will totally deter those who are determined.

    • HonestDebate1

      Are those Corgis? Your comment is a good one, I don’t mean to take away from it but those are very cute dogs.

  • Coastghost

    Sociopathy for all! One of the new hallmarks for egalitarianism, hunh?

  • GuyTouquet

    No consideration of the effect of the bleak future offered young people today. For most of them, all but the most privileged, there is little prospect of normal life with home and family. Forecasts of impending doom from climate change, radiation,
    resource shortages, permanent warfare and masses of unemployed, desparate citizens must play a role in drug addiction in this population. Steve Fournier, Hartford

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      A bleak future is all that is offered any generation. It is up to them to make something of it — and to change it for the better if necessary…which is always the case.

      What isn’t allowed is laziness and dropping out. We need everyone.

    • Coastghost

      “Gee, Maw, we have no economic opportunity here and only meteorological distress, but thanks to lame law enforcement, we do have access to H. Go get my guvmint-provided rig so I can ease my pain and distress! And go paint Junior’s gums with some suitable ACA-opioid as quick as you can, his bawlin’ is gettin’ on my frayed nerves!”

      • GuyTouquet

        We sat them down in front of a TV while we trashed our economy, our values, and our planet for them. If they survive their addictions, they’ll piss on our graves.

        • Coastghost

          Sounds as if our sewers are excavated to deeper depths than our cemeteries. (And the Russians beat us to the metaphor “state-as-cemetery” with Dostoevsky’s “Bobok”, although his acknowledged predecessor was Lucian with his dialogues of the dead.)

      • HonestDebate1

        Is Paregoric approved? I have fond memories from my teething days.

  • Charlie, St. Johnsbury

    I’m a recovering heroin addict, I moved to Vermont 10 years ago. My wife is a native Vermonter and also a recovering addict. The drug problem in Vermont, like other rural areas, is linked to economic conditions, but also a town snobbery. All the low income services: parole and probation, planned parenthood, methadone clinics, are pushed into towns like Barre, Rutland, and St. Jay — town which have been struggling for years. And that’s fine for residents of Montpelier — a town just 10 miles from Barre, but a world away. Most people in Montpelier, would NEVER live in Barre ( some would not even visit it ) and this just localizes and expands the problem, rather than spreading it out. Instead of propagating negative negative stereotypes and pushing all the low income services into certain towns, these so-called “liberals” who want to legalize pot, and tax soda pop, should put their money with their mouth is and move into these towns, open businesses and make positive change.

    • jefe68

      You know trying to make this into liberal conservative issue does nothing to help with the real issues of addiction. Being that you are a recovering addict I would have thought you would know better.

    • HonestDebate1

      Do you feel like your experiences have made you stronger and more focused on things that truly matter? It’s a steep price but nothing is easy and the reward is priceless and sweet. Good luck to you.

  • TeriAnn Crump

    Bravo Gov! As an RN recently working in a NY drug & alcohol rehab, I hope the conversation can also turn to the newest research on what addiction is. Understanding addiction is key in the search for solutions. The comment that we may be “mad at” or “disappointed in” addicts may be valid yet after reading an article “How Addiction Hijacks the Brain,” attitudes toward the addict may change. The following site gives information that has changed the attitudes of staff and patients toward addiction in our rehab. http://www.helpguide.org/harvard/addiction_hijacks_brain.htm

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Great comment.

  • LianeSperoni

    I think the move to decriminalize marijuana is the perfect marriage of the libertarian right and left-wing anti-drug war folks

  • Alvin Case

    This issue seems very similar to the heroin explosion I saw in the early 90s. I had many friends who tried it, some died from it eventually. What I see as common to both times is the sense of despair among 19-25 year olds who were promised a fair shake to build a life after school, but instead saw a community and a national economic landscape subject to the whims of rich individuals and corporations that seek only to better their own stake. In such a landscape, and with a culture that looks down on mental health counseling (just look at the military), its no wonder that like in the 90s we find ourselves back with the same crisis all over again. The solution, I think, is to nurture our communities to produce good citizens, rather than good consumers. Offering hope for the future is a good start.

  • Buster1

    The heroin problem in VT can be directly connected to the Walgreens Oxycontin 80 million dollar fine and no jail time for executives directed by Eric Holder and Eric Holders handling of the drug dealers at HSBC they were peddling dope and laundering the money they were given a small fine 1% of their business.

    It is the man who serves at the pleasure of the President Eric Holder and his looking the other way and failure to jail the criminals driving the opiate problems.

    It starts with Walgreens smurfing scrips from Florida on buses all Floridians were on daily doses of Oxycontin ?

    The Walgreens executives too busy buying yachts and mansions and sports cars to realize no way in hell that those prescriptions were illegal?

    These people “executives”should be locked up their stores seized not slapped on the wrist with small fines. But the president will not hire a prosecutor capable of locking up criminals who poison our citizens.

    We always talk about finding the big fish the kingpins and Eric Holder had them in the net and let them all swim away.

  • Ryanmit1
  • Buster1

    The Executives who are getting fat and happy peddling Oxycontin should be put on a short leash obviously there is a per capita production problem. We could set policy for production on a per capita basis with a number come up with by FDA and the Medical business and limit production quotas. with unscrupulous executives who want to increase the 20 billion a year prescription opiate business we need to chain these greedy bastards to the porch.

    • HonestDebate1

      Doctors are the culprit there in my view. There’s a pill for everything but that’s not a bad thing until it becomes a shortcut. Oxycontin is an incredibly effective drug that helps many people.

  • HonestDebate1
    • Coastghost

      A succinct reminder of what a pill our President is.

      • tbphkm33

        An even more succinct reminder of how irrelevant “Coastghost’s” contributions to the discussion at hand is.

        • Coastghost

          I’m merely another victim of jealousy and envy, it seems . . . .

          • jefe68

            Be gone troll.

          • Ray in VT

            From my perspective, as relates to the northeast corridor versus your native region, one might be best served by paraphrasing Churchill and noting that that latter region has a lot to be jealous and envious about.

          • Coastghost

            Don’t misconstrue, Ray: I fully concede that heroin addiction may be therapeutically sound for treating progressive populism: it sounds more and more here as if heroin addiction is the very answer to a native populist outcry. No self-respecting populist should ever have to deal with the demeaning formality of having to ask for heroin, I fully concede the point.

  • Coastghost

    And just where are Frank Sinatra and Jo Stafford when you need them? “Mainline in Vermont” could help sell state tourism for fresh decades, as long as y’all keep the H pouring in.

  • Guest

    we are seeing this abuse across the US (suburbs of Chicago and even here in Iowa). What I saw in VT and am seeing here in Iowa is that our university and college students preparing to be educators are doing their student teaching in home visiting programs with little to no background with this population. The film Hungry Heart provides a valuable resources to assist faculty as they prepare future teachers to build partnerships with families. Get the study guide!!! this is critical to have these difficult dialogues!!!

    Issues still exist regarding policy needed and additional supports to educators (and the faculty who teach them) to understand and work with this growing culture. Young children of families experiencing this type of addiction are the most vulnerable and need support too!

  • HonestDebate1

    I don’t really believe in addiction but I do understand physical dependence. Most junkies eventually hit bottom and want to get better. That is the essential prerequisite to becoming straight. You can’t help someone who won’t help themselves. It’s a cliche’ but it’s so true. I just think we should all be willing to help those who want it but are too physically dependent to do it on their own.

    • mjhoop

      Honestly, it’s all around us, all the time, if not in our neighborhoods, then in the media. That you ‘don’t believe’ in addiction has nothing to do with the discussion. Just because you don’t believe means less than nothing in the face of the proof in the lives of those ruined and killed y addiction. What is addiction but physical dependence so strong one usually can’t ‘do i on their own’?

      • HonestDebate1

        Physical dependence is physiological not emotional.

        • Don_B1

          Don’t expect us to believe that you have not heard about how chemicals in the brain affect the emotions when they influence certain parts of the brain.

          Maybe you could benefit from watching Charlie Rose who is now repeating some of the Brain Series from a year or two ago.

          Or not, at least as far as you are willing to say here.

          • HonestDebate1

            I draw a line. Quitting cigarettes or pot or junk food is different than kicking Heroin. All it takes is will. I don’t know if you have ever seen a junkie get clean, it also take incredible will but it’s physical nightmare too.

        • jefe68

          Addiction to drugs and alcohol are both physical and psychological.
          Denying that is delusional.

  • HonestDebate1
  • Coastghost

    And gosh golly gee whiz: with all the socialism that Sen. Sanders can deliver to eager Vermonters, a distinct shame that Sen. Sanders’ socialism fails to inspire Vermonters with any social aspirations beyond heroin addiction. (Or is it the case that Sen. Sanders has tried and continues to try to get heroin addiction and dosage maintenance programs approved as features for Vermont’s participation in the Federal Affordable Care Tax Act?)

  • RapidDetox.com

    It’s great that the politicians are recognizing the problem of addiction, particularly opiates which have been taking the U.S. and its people by storm. It will take a comprehensive approach to start healing. Many take opiates because of physical or mental/emotional pain. We need better methods at treating both. Painkillers do not cure pain, they only mask it. In treating chronic physical pain, opiates are necessary when there is no other medical recourse (such as cancer patients or those in the further stages of MS). Otherwise, we need to embrace alternate methods of treating pain where those options are possible. Secondly, mental illness is something to be taken seriously and not be stigmatized.

    • Coastghost

      Sadly, the French remain ahead of us here, too: it’s well-known how they have applied the metaphor of “state-as-asylum” (or vice versa) in their distinctive interpretation of Poe’s “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether” (Andre de Lorde’s Grand-Guignol adaptation “Le Systeme du Docteur Goudron et du Professeur Plume” appeared on 3 April 1903).
      Only the State can cure the pains that Life inflicts, this is a self-evidence and a commonplace, both. (–which does not necessarily imply that only Life can exempt us from whatever pains the State inflicts.)

  • marygrav

    Where is the Sound?

    • nkandersen

      Audio posted above around 2 pm EST, Mary. You must have just missed it!
      - nick andersen
      web producer | on point radio

      • HonestDebate1

        Thanks for the guidelines.

  • Bonnie S

    The option should be there. Gov Shumlin’s speech was in context of it being voluntary. Many people think treatment will more successful when voluntary.

    • Don_B1

      It will often mean a longer wait before the addict recognizes the inability to deal with the problem alone, but when the patient is willing the treatment works faster and more completely.

      But some compulsory treatment can help the patient get to that point of problem recognition.

  • marygrav

    Why is it that experts only understand what goes on on the surface and want to ignore what is going on underground? When the caller ask about Afghanistan and other social problems going on in the present society, the expert said that there is no relationship. However when it comes to Veterans it must be pointed out that PTSD requires an appointment with the VA, which is usually at least a 2 months wait. The local dealer gives instant satisfaction.

    Americans see themselves as Exceptional, thereby they do not see themselves as being subject to the stresses of the world. This is why we know the answers to everybody else social problems and cannot solve our own. We are always in Denial.

  • Coastghost

    What if I were a Vermonter somehow not keen on cultivating a taste for heroin: would I, could I be shown as compensation, in conjunction with state subscription to ObamaFraud, a menu of various endorsed and/or duly recognized socio-pathologies so that I could pick and choose my own psycho-pathologies to be treated and cured of?
    I suspect I can resist the appeal of heroin, laudanum, absinthe, cocaine, and morphine, but I might want to indulge some other maladaptive behavior so I can be cured of its ill effects. (I mean: socialism DOES mean service, right?)

    • HonestDebate1

      I’m not as smart as the down voters (Congrats!) so I had to read your comment four times. The second one out loud; the next 2 with a decrescendo ritard… I got it…
      and by “it” I mean it.

      Nice work.

    • jimino

      Sorry to disappoint you but your kind of stupidity is not currently treatable. You and those who “get it” would be just as stupid regardless of the economic system where they live.

      • HonestDebate1

        I already said I’m not smart.

        • jefe68

          You do realize that comment was not meant for you? But if the shoe fits…

          • HonestDebate1

            I am smart enough to know who Jimino was referring to as “those who get it”. Read my reply to Coastghost.

            We have new rules and I hope I don’t get called for feeding you. Your comment has no value other than to be nasty.

  • mjhoop

    I’m glad you bought up the “empty space.”
    Where, I ask, does that come from?
    From an anthropological perspective, I think I know.
    See if you can get your boy friend’s mother or father to tell you i he was carried around in a hard plastic carrier, or was he carried by his mother, close to her heart? Of was he in day care as an infant/small child?
    We evolved to be carried as infants by mom either on her chest or on her back until too heavy or she had another pregnancy/birth.
    We need to be touched and stroked as infants to create sufficient nerves in our bodies for full emotional development. Being touched and stroked creates the physcial and emotional conditions for bonding to another. My money is on the lack of bonding with a significant other in childhood. This leaves us for ourwhole lives with the feeling that we don’t belong anywhere.
    If infants and young children are cared for by sitters or other paid workers who have no stake in the emotional needs of the kids, then the bonding is not possible. A full day in the care of someone who just changes diapers and props up a bottle, then a few hours with mom or dad in the evening, and being fed supper while sitting in a plastic carrier, then kept up late so the folks can have an hour with the kid, deprives the child of emotional support, bonding opportiunities, and lost sleep, which is essential for the best physical and emotional development.
    I hate to say it, but I blame the women’s movement first. But equally at fault is the corporate stranglehold on so many people who have to have two incomes to live in the manner the corporations have persuaded us is necessary.

    .

    • Don_B1

      The real reason for two incomes is the change from an agricultural society to an urban one, where a wife’s contribution to a family now had to be something other than helping out around the farm, where she could also (simultaneously) mind the children.

      It was the growth of women in the workforce following the end of WWII as the country finalized the transition from an agricultural society and that showed women how they were not even considered for most jobs (previously a woman had three main job possibilities outside the home: secretary, teacher, nurse).

      But as this changed because the fact that women had performed exemplarily in all manner of jobs during WWII and thus were slowly but increasingly hired.

      Up to this point, married men were given higher salaries to “support their families at home.” But now single individuals correctly complained that they were not being paid equally for equal work.

      Now the only people left not being paid equally for equal work are women. It is not because of the “women’s movement,” it is because the nature of the U.S. society and economy has changed.

      Please read the Shriver Report on today’s economy, which is available on Amazon (Kindle, free for three? days):

      http://shriverreport.org/

      which will acquaint you with the struggle of today’s women in the workforce.

      That report would be a good subject for an On Point program!

  • B Rich

    I am glad this is being brought up nationally. Its too easy to feel better abusing opiates, including heroin. Also, as stated on the show, the drugs are so easy to get, but treatment is so difficult, and the people involved in treatment that I have come in contact with, are jaded and unhelpful.
    The solution is the stigma needs to be removed from addiction so people feel comfortable coming forward, and treatment options need the funding instead of prisons.

  • B Rich

    Oh, also it does hit All Demographics. Someone I know who has struggled with heroin is a college educated person in his 30s with a six figure income.

  • Bonnie S

    Addiction is not a one-way street. There are treatments beyond the “maintenance drugs.”

    If you’d like to learn more, please join “Vermonters for Ibogaine Research” on Facebook:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1387233744868471/

ONPOINT
TODAY
Aug 20, 2014
A man holds his hands up in the street after a standoff with police Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, during a protest for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. (AP)

A deep read on Ferguson, Missouri and what we’re seeing about race, class, hope and fear in America.

Aug 20, 2014
In this Oct. 21, 2013 file photo, a monarch butterfly lands on a confetti lantana plant in San Antonio. A half-century ago Monarch butterflies, tired, hungry and bursting to lay eggs, found plenty of nourishment flying across Texas. Native white-flowering balls of antelope milkweed covered grasslands, growing alongside nectar-filled wildflowers. But now, these orange-and-black winged butterflies find mostly buildings, manicured lawns and toxic, pesticide-filled plants. (AP)

This year’s monarch butterfly migration is the smallest ever recorded. We’ll ask why. It’s a big story. Plus: how climate change is creating new hybridized species.

RECENT
SHOWS
Aug 19, 2014
Lara Russo, left, Cally Guasti, center, and Reese Werkhoven sit on a couch in their apartment in New Paltz, N.Y. on Thursday, May 15, 2014.  While their roommate story of $40,800 found in a couch made the news, other, weirder stories of unusual roommates are far more common. (AP)

From college dorms and summer camps to RVs and retirement hotels, what it’s like to share a room. True stories of roommates.

 
Aug 19, 2014
Police wait to advance after tear gas was used to disperse a crowd Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, during a protest for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer last Saturday in Ferguson, Mo. (AP)

“War zones” in America. Local police departments with military grade equipment – how much is too much, and what it would take to de-militarize America’s police force.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Your (Weird? Wonderful? Wacky?) Roommate Stories
Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014

We asked, and you delivered: some of the best roommate stories from across our many listener input channels.

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1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web (August 15, 2014)
Friday, Aug 15, 2014

On Pinterest, Thomas the Tank Engine and surprising population trends from around the country. Also, words on why we respond to your words, tweets and Facebook posts.

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Nickel Creek Plays Three Songs LIVE For On Point
Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014

Nickel Creek shares three live (well, mostly) tracks from their interview with On Point Radio.

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