Opiates – The Number One Killer in Vermont
Vermont is experiencing an opiate epidemic with very few understanding what are opiates. Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn comments, “Opiates are the biggest killer in Vermont. Last year, more people died in Vermont from opiates than from automobile crashes and murders combined.” He also reports that in 2010, 99 people died in Vermont from prescription painkillers and heroin overdoses. As a result, Vermont is now looking at the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. This program is a universal database where all doctors will be monitored regarding dispensing medication. Additionally, it will also track patients who participate in doctor shopping to fuel their prescription drug addiction. As opiate prescriptions are being monitored more closely and becoming more costly, people are turning to heroin. Chadd Lackey, a lawyer with the New Jersey State Commission, commented that people are switching to heroin because it is cheaper and a more potent alternative. He also remarks that heroin dealers are moving more towards suburban areas and are dealing drugs in Wal-Mart parking lots. Addiction is a disease that progresses in such a way where you end up doing things you’d thought you’d never do. I am almost certain that those individuals who started out taking opiates in pill form thought they would never be buying heroin during their weekly shopping with their family.