Heroin

Robert Blaise says the peer drug counseling he took part in while he was in jail in Rutland has helped him stay clean since his release. He now meets weekly with his recovery coach and attends 12-step meetings at Rutland's Turning Point Center.
Nina Keck / VPR

In an effort to help the many Vermont inmates suffering from addiction before their release, a nonprofit in Rutland is trying something different: providing peer-to-peer counseling.

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In 2014, Governor Shumlin devoted his State of the State speech to what he called "a full-blown heroin crisis" in Vermont. Nearly two years later, heroin is still a massive problem in the state. We're looking at the latest on the state's battle against heroin, and at the dangerous links between the drug trade and sex trafficking.

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At the beginning of this year, Governor Shumlin used his State of the State address to discuss Vermont's opiate addiction problem. The legislature followed up with a comprehensive bill addressing treatment, prosecution, and policing.

Nina Keck / VPR

It’s not often that a press conference includes tearing down a building. But city and state officials gathered in Rutland Monday to demolish the first of a number of blighted properties in the city’s northwest neighborhood. The event kicks off a $1.25 million renewal project aimed at boosting property values, lowering crime and encouraging homeownership.

mark wragg / Thinkstock

In January, Governor Shumlin declared that Vermont was facing a "full blown heroin crisis." His state of the state address drew national attention to Vermont, and asked the legislature to address the problem head on. Did the governor get what he wanted? Will the bills passed by the legislature this session help those suffering from opiate addiction?