Kate O'Neill | Article Archives | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
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Kate O'Neill

Kate O'Neill

In “Hooked: Stories and Solutions from Vermont’s Opioid Crisis,” writer Kate O’Neill explores the state’s opioid epidemic and efforts to address it using traditional journalism, narrative storytelling and her own experiences. Her sister, Madelyn Linsenmeir, died in October 2018 after years battling opioid addiction... more
5 results
    • Between a 'Hub' and a Hard Place: Three Stories of Opioid Addiction in Rural Vermont
    • Between a 'Hub' and a Hard Place: Three Stories of Opioid Addiction in Rural Vermont

      In rural Vermont, people with opioid-use disorder face unique obstacles to recovery, including lack of services, geographical barriers and small-town stigmatization. Addiction both flourishes in isolation and creates it. In the third installment of "Hooked," her yearlong series exploring Vermont’s opioid epidemic, staff writer Kate O'Neill shares stories of addiction and recovery from three isolated communities: In Enosburg, she found Sierra LaCoste, for whom buying drugs on the streets was easier than getting to a clinic for daily treatment; from their home in Goshen, Dave and Jan Bishop of Goshen spend their days driving Addison County addicts to Burlington and Rutland; And in Windham County, the residents of Wilmington are trying to make their town a place where people who are struggling with addiction can find help — and love.
    • Trafficked: How the Opioid Epidemic Drives Sexual Exploitation in Vermont
    • Trafficked: How the Opioid Epidemic Drives Sexual Exploitation in Vermont

      “I thought sex trafficking was something that happened to people in other countries or to women who were brought to this country to work in massage parlors,” writes Kate O’Neill. “I had no idea it was something that could happen to my sister.” O’Neill explores the intersection of opioid addiction and sexual exploitation in Vermont as part of her yearlong series "Hooked: Stories and Solutions from Vermont's Opioid Crisis.” Later this month, a man who allegedly sold drugs and prostituted women is expected to be the first sex trafficking defendant to face a Green Mountain jury.
    • Evolution of an Epidemic: A Timeline of the Vermont Opioid Crisis
    • Timeline: Vermont Opioid Crisis

      Hundreds of Vermonters have died from opioid overdoses in the past quarter century. Eight thousand are currently in treatment for opioid-use disorder. Countless more live every day with the despair of this disease. How did we get here? No single event sparked Vermont’s current emergency, but its momentum was building for more than a decade before then-governor Peter Shumlin named it a “full-blown heroin crisis" in his State of the State address. From the invention of OxyContin to a single night last month when the University of Vermont Medical Center treated seven overdosing patients, our timeline tracks the epidemic in Vermont.

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