What’s Really Being Done About Opiates in Our Community?

This installment of The Commons’ “Voices Live!” series, “What’s Really Being Done About Opiates in Our Community?” took take place on Monday, April 3, from at the Brooks Memorial Library.

The Commons and the Community Opioid Response Committee will hosted a discussion on what is being done and what resources are available to tackle the opioid problem in our community.

The evening’s panel includes members of Turning Point of Windham County, the Brattleboro Police Department, the Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition, Habit Opco, and The AIDS Project of Southern Vermont’s Syringe Support Program.

With the “Voices Live!” program, in collaboration with The Commons, The Community Opioid Response Committee joins other community organizations to bring local agencies and the public into a room to discuss difficult issues of importance to our community. as an extension of the nonprofit newspaper’s Voices op-ed/commentary section. 
The Community Opioid Response Committee is a collaboration among various community partners.

They include the Vermont Department of Health, Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition, Turning Point, Habit Opco, Heath Care and Rehabilitation Services, Nar-anon Family Groups, Brattleboro Retreat, and community members who share concerns about how the community deals with addiction and supports individuals and families who are affected by substance-abuse issues.

Comments | 2

  • Reckless endangerment

    While it was noted that VT is a destination state, primarily because of the proximity of I-91, the stats show that less than 1% (0.8%) of the people interviewed reported heroin use in the past year, but the sample-size of the study was not given. The VT health department panel member reports that last year there were 105 deaths from overdoses in Vermont.

    In the past month, I asked more than a dozen people if they knew anyone addicted to opiates or who overdosed on opioids. No one had, but this comment is anecdotal only.

    This April 3rd, nearly two hour long meeting was notable because it was Michael Fitzgerald, Chief, BPD, who pointed out that this is a rich resource community for abuse and addiction related services, so much more so than any community he has experienced before.

    So, to answer the title question of this filmed meeting, an extension of The Commons “Voices,” “What’s Really Being Done About Opiates in Our Community,” we see that Brattleboro has longstanding, very active, resource-based multilayer’s of rather well funded support groups. The key ingredient of this “crisis” is not the lack of awareness, activism or support, it is the reported deaths. Without the deaths, the historically long term opioid use in this country would remain static.

    Moreover, pointing the finger to the pharmaceutical companies making a big profit by loading up doctors and pharmacies with a glut of opiate pills, in turn fueled a higher level of use. It isn’t the community or our primary care doctors that need investigating, it is Big Pharma. If there is, in fact, an on going investigation with the intent of penalizing those corporations responsible, I am unaware of it?

    Opiates as a defense against serious short term, chronic pain and deadly diseases, are vital to doctors and their patients. Big Pharma flooding the legal market with opioids to make a zillion dollars is criminal reckless endangerment.

  • United States consumes over

    United States consumes over 90% of all prescription opiods. It is 100% on the back of Big Pharma who decided years ago that opiods would be good for chronic pain. They didn’t say for whom it would be good (themselves). This was the big lie that began all this. For my license I have had to attend sessions on opiods. I’ve been to two and at no time did they discuss the fact that most of these people could be treated with NSAIDS.
    Now, if one watched ads on TV, they are selling drugs to combat the constipation from opiods.
    Leave it to Pharma. If a condition doesn’t exist, they’ll manufacture one and a drug to treat it.

    Bob Fageslon

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