Opioid Treatment in Vermont


For those seeking treatment for opioid addiction in Vermont, there may be different options to choose from. This can be overwhelming to those who've never been through the treatment process, so it helps to be prepared beforehand. Treatment is usually needed during crises, where planning is a luxury that most don't have. This can lead people to choose the quickest or closest treatment program instead of the right fit.

For example, when looking into Vermont treatment, one may find programs specific to opioid addiction. At first, this can make it seem like the only option, if not the best when neither of these is the case. Opioid specific treatment programs mainly use prescription opioids to treat opioid addiction. They usually place people on these substitutes for life, as though beating opioid addiction is impossible. This can be an appealing option to someone who doesn't want to experience withdrawal or who isn't committed to recovery but won't even get them off drugs ultimately.

A better option for many is the traditional drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs that have been around for many years. These programs average one month in length and are usually inpatient. An example of a traditional program is any of the twelve-step programs seen today. These originated with Alcoholics Anonymous and have been adapted to treat virtually all forms of addiction and compulsive behavior. Traditional programs aim to get people off drugs and have saved countless lives over the years.

One of the most successful forms of treatment for opioid addiction is holistic. Holistic substance abuse treatment programs use no unnecessary medications. Instead, they focus on health and nutrition to rebuild the body and combat the long-term effects of opioids on a person. Additionally, they use intensive counseling to address the underlying reasons people use substances. This prevents relapse after program completion. While these programs may be longer and more rigorous than other forms, the results are frequently excellent over the long-term.

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Vermont Opioid Possession Penalties

Since there are many different opioids, and they are all readily abused, there is no single penalty assigned to all opioid possession convictions. Instead, opioids are categorized by their dangerousness and potential medical benefit in a process known as scheduling.

All controlled substances like opioids fall somewhere between schedule I and schedule V, with Schedule I opioids classified at the top of the list. This means that they have no medical use and are extremely dangerous. Schedule I opioids carry the stiffest penalties, and schedule V opioids carry the most lenient. Additionally, some extremely dangerous and completely illegal opioids like heroin have mandatory sentences.

For example, it is a crime to possess, deliver, or sell heroin knowingly. Penalties for possession include a fine of up to $2,000 and imprisonment of up to one year. Penalties for delivery include a fine of up to $75,000 and imprisonment for up to three years. Penalties for selling heroin include fines up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment up to five years. Penalties for possession, delivery, or sales of 200 milligrams or more include much heavier fines and much longer imprisonment. It is a crime to knowingly possess, deliver, or sell depressants, stimulants, and narcotic drugs other than heroin or cocaine. Penalties are very similar to those for heroin or cocaine.

Other opioids will carry different penalties depending on their schedule. Prescription opioids like codeine fall under schedule V and carry much less severe penalties. Several other circumstances can affect the penalty one may receive for illegally possessing opioids, such as the amount, the person's criminal history, and the circumstances surrounding the charge.

Vermont Opioid Statistics

The preliminary 2019 opioid-related accidental and undetermined fatality data show a decrease in opioid-related fatalities – the first since 2014. The data show a 15% decrease from 130 deaths in 2018 to 111 in 2019.

  • Fentanyl continues to be the primary driver of opioid-related deaths in Vermont. Although there were fewer deaths involving fentanyl in 2019 (95) than 2018 (100), fentanyl accounts for 86% of deaths in 2019 compared to 77% in 2018.
  • The percentage of opioid-related fatalities involving cocaine continues to increase. Cocaine was present in 43% of opioid-related fatalities in 2019, up from 36% in 2018. The number of cocaine-involved deaths surpassed the number involving heroin for the first time since 2010.
  • After increasing from 42 deaths in 2017 to 69 deaths in 2018, deaths involving heroin decreased by nearly half in 2019 (37 deaths).

In Vermont, drug overdose deaths involving opioids totaled 127 in 2018 (a rate of 22.8) and have remained steady since 2016.

  • Deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (mainly fentanyl and fentanyl analogs) have trended up from 33 (a rate of 5.6) in 2015 to 106 (a rate of 19.3) in 2018.
  • Heroin-involved deaths are also rising, with 68 deaths (a rate of 12.5) in 2018.
  • Prescription opioids have remained steady, with 27 deaths (a rate of 4.4) in 2018.

In 2018, Vermont providers wrote 42.4 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons. This was among the lowest prescribing rates in the country and lower than the average U.S. rate of 51.4 prescriptions.

List of Medical Detox Programs for Narcotic Abuse in Vermont

Here is a list of medical detox for opioid addiction in Vermont. The list can be incomplete, so please do not hesitate to contact one of our treatment specialists at 1-800-304-2219.


Marcel Gemme, DATS

Marcel Gemme, DATS


on December 21, 2021

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people. He is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist graduate with Honours of Stratford Career Institute. Marcel has also received a certificate from Harvard for completing a course entitled The Opioid Crisis in America and a certificate from The University of Adelaide for completing a course entitled AddictionX: Managing Addiction: A Framework for Succesful Treatment.