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Comment Archives: stories: News + Opinion: Opioid Crisis

Re: “Between a 'Hub' and a Hard Place: Three Stories of Opioid Addiction in Rural Vermont

Such important reporting happening by Kate O'Neil for this series. Thank you for pointing out all the ways our system is failing to help people who are suffering from addiction.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by KJB on 06/12/2019 at 5:10 PM

Re: “Between a 'Hub' and a Hard Place: Three Stories of Opioid Addiction in Rural Vermont

They should make it easier for people with addictions to get to those places instead of making them hard to get to.

6 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Gigrape52@gmail.com on 06/06/2019 at 7:22 PM

Re: “Between a 'Hub' and a Hard Place: Three Stories of Opioid Addiction in Rural Vermont

I used to work with Melinda and she was one of the most inspirational women I have ever met. I worked in the addiction field for nearly two years and learned about so much h heartbreak and struggle...but I also heard and saw many success stories. The need for MAT treatment, better doctors, and the need to end the stigma has been my inspiration to become a doctor and one day help people get through their treatment with as much support as possible.

My thoughts go out to all those who are affected by addiction. Stay strong.

22 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by mwiciak on 06/05/2019 at 1:34 PM

Re: “Vermont Sues Eight Members of Sackler Family

"Attack on capitalism"?? Capitalism doesn't need protection, it's an easily corruptible system that requires regulation and control to avoid abuse by the wealthy.

They spend trillions advertising the evils of regulation and government. And millions of Americans buy their propaganda. The government was created because we used to live in poverty and misery without a powerful regulatory system. Proof: the middle ages.

Too many people are swayed by the anti-regulation propaganda of Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, which has convinced millions of Americans to vote to give more power and money to the wealthy, trusting they'd spread it around to the rest of us. Newsflash: They don't.

Fox News anti-government propaganda, closing polling places, gerrymandering, have all helped transfer most of our wealth to the wealthy. Since Trump, we don't even tax their inheritances any more. Lucky Ivanka! Lucky Don Jr! All while they blame immigrants and poor people for taking jobs and money. Meanwhile today, many trillion-dollar corporations pay zero federal tax.

From 1940 to 1980 middle class income doubled. From 1980 to 2018, middle class income halved, adjusted for inflation. CEO's getting 50 million dollars while their workers get food stamps and beg for medical care and insulin on GoFundMe.

There is only one way to return America to the prosperity we enjoyed under the progressive era. Please vote. Millions of us coming together to vote have more power than any corrupt politician. The national Republican party wants to take away our freedom to our bodies, our ability to earn a decent living, and to peacefully raise our children in a healthy environment. You have the power to stop them, please use it.

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Julie Green on 05/22/2019 at 12:19 PM

Re: “Vermont Sues Eight Members of Sackler Family

The local liberal attack on capitalism.

4 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by The Great Morpheus on 05/22/2019 at 8:20 AM

Re: “Vermont Sues Eight Members of Sackler Family

THANK YOU T.J.

13 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by G Chesterton on 05/21/2019 at 9:14 PM

Re: “Patients Turn to Cannabis as an 'Exit Drug' From Chronic Opioid Use and Addiction

The idea that marijuana can be a "exit drug" from opiates unfortunately seems at odds with Mr. Whites well founded belief that " the population addicted to opioids tend to be very heavy cannabis users who consume it in compulsive ways." Perhaps cannabinoids are effective for pain therapy to minimize opiate usage for non-addicts but not as an exit drug for addicts .

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rich ard on 05/17/2019 at 1:26 PM

Re: “Brian Folks Convicted in First-Ever Sex Trafficking Trial in Vermont

And most of them are done by people of color

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Gigrape52@gmail.com on 05/13/2019 at 6:28 PM

Re: “Hooked: How So Many Vermonters Got Addicted to Opioids

Why is there a heroin epidemic? The answer is simple: PROHIBITION. Opiate abuse was never a really serious problem in the United States until opiates were restricted and criminalized !!

Prohibition does not prevent drug abuse, it just makes drugs more dangerous and addictive because vendors will create more concentrated versions that are easier to smuggle and conceal. In places where illegal drugs have been decriminalized in a meaningful way, we see a corresponding DECREASE in serious forms of addiction because those who need treatment are no longer afraid to come forward and seek help.

Let me explain how this works in the simplest terms: You ban something that is relatively harmless (like opium smoking) and you get something much more dangerous (like injecting heroin.) So you ban heroin, and then you get something even more dangerous (like black market fentanyl.) On and on it goes, until you realize that repeating the same mistake will not create a different outcome. The "war on drugs" can never be won because prohibition just inflates prices, and that attracts more suppliers (both inside and outside government) who cannot resist the incredible black market profits.

Another tragedy of prohibition (which is all too often ignored) is the millions of people who are forced to live without treatment for severe chronic pain. The "war on drugs" is really a war on human rights that creates more problems than it solves. Our government does not recognize a distinction between pain management and addiction -- and where we do make some effort to treat addiction, the absurd restrictions on HOW (and with WHAT) we can treat it reduces the number of positive outcomes. This society is clinically insane, and its addiction to the abuse of power is the most serious epidemic of all.

Posted by 7DVT on 05/13/2019 at 4:36 PM

Re: “Hooked: How So Many Vermonters Got Addicted to Opioids

Why is there a heroin epidemic? The answer is simple: PROHIBITION. Opiate abuse was never a really serious problem in the United States until opiates were restricted and criminalized !!

Prohibition does not prevent drug abuse, it just makes drugs more dangerous and addictive because vendors will create more concentrated versions that are easier to smuggle and conceal. In places where illegal drugs have been decriminalized in a meaningful way, we see a corresponding DECREASE in serious forms of addiction because those who need treatment are no longer afraid to come forward and seek help.

Let me explain how this works in the simplest terms: You ban something that is relatively harmless (like opium smoking) and you get something much more dangerous (like injecting heroin.) So you ban heroin, and then you get something even more dangerous (like black market fentanyl.) On and on it goes, until you realize that repeating the same mistake will not create a different outcome. The "war on drugs" can never be won because prohibition just inflates prices, and that attracts more suppliers (both inside and outside government) who cannot resist the incredible black market profits.

Another tragedy of prohibition (which is all too often ignored) are the millions of people who are forced to live without treatment for severe chronic pain because of this mindless "war on drugs" (which is really a war on human rights that creates more problems than it solves.) Our government does not recognize a distinction between pain management and addiction and where we do make some effort to treat addiction, the absurd restrictions on HOW (and with WHAT) we can treat it reduces the number of positive outcomes. This society is clinically insane, and its addiction to the abuse of power is the most serious epidemic of all.

Posted by 7DVT on 05/13/2019 at 4:30 PM

Re: “Lawsuit: Inmate Died After Being Held in Solitary for Drug Withdrawal

This was more like a conspiracy to commit murder than a simple mistake, and there should be criminal charges. But it happens all of the time. People in jail are routinely denied medication which they have a prescription for. Sometimes they die, the taxpayers cover the lawsuit, and the perpetrators go free. Rinse and repeat. The bottom line is that a prohibition regime (which allows police to routinely abuse power) will attract a lot of bullies who enjoy hurting people. If you create working conditions that appeal most strongly to psychopaths, that is precisely what you are going to get. If you want to improve the quality of law enforcement, you absolutely must end prohibition, because prohibition is based on the fascist premise that all men do NOT have equal rights. This attracts people with a fascist mindset to police work, while discouraging the good and moral people from pursuing a career in law enforcement. Nobody wants to do something for the state that is against their conscience, so what you get in a prohibition regime is people without a conscience who simply don't care about others at all.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by 7DVT on 05/13/2019 at 12:18 PM

Re: “Brian Folks Convicted in First-Ever Sex Trafficking Trial in Vermont

funny, (and not in a funny way) this is not the first sex trafficking case i've heard about..
one was organized crime, that operated those massage parlors all over vermont that used illegal immigrants, and the other was a few single pimps (like this guy above) that picked up girls in vermont, and trafficked them down in boston..
strange how 7 days doesn't remember those cases.

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by charleskafka on 05/11/2019 at 12:52 AM

Re: “Trafficked: How the Opioid Epidemic Drives Sexual Exploitation in Vermont

It is really sad that these people do this to men and women. It all started on Craigslist then back page. Now they shut them down maybe they will figure out a way to have it monitored and alert them that someone is talking about if someone is trying to do that on either page and block them from using it for so long or something else. In Maine (Portland) it is just as bad if not worse. Kate you did a great job awesome story.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jeffrey Claude Danis on 05/10/2019 at 7:03 PM

Re: “Brian Folks Convicted in First-Ever Sex Trafficking Trial in Vermont

Re: "a drug and sex ring he operated out of Burlington for several years."

Why did this go on for years and our police didn't know? Something is wrong with that.

14 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by leaterhune on 05/10/2019 at 3:20 PM

Re: “Bid to Decriminalize 'Bupe' Hits a Bump in Vermont House

The claim that VT has robust opioid treatment programs is false! Trying to navigate the VT treatment system when you desperately need it is nearly impossible. There are very few treatment beds available in the whole state, waiting 72 hours when someone is in need immediately is too long... theyll be on the streets looking for drugs.
The hub and spoke model is not available in all areas of the state,
We need LONG TERM residential with comprehensive programs to help people rebuild their lives.... not just treat with more drugs and turn them back onto the streets.
Medically assisted treatment is a bandaid and dangerous for long term use. Also its continuing to line the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies who started this epidemic.
PS... I lost my son to overdose and I have many friends with family members struggling to find help.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Wendy Galbraith on 05/05/2019 at 8:59 AM

Re: “Bid to Decriminalize 'Bupe' Hits a Bump in Vermont House

Thanks for clarifying, Matthew!

Posted by Scott Pavek on 05/02/2019 at 11:52 AM

Re: “Bid to Decriminalize 'Bupe' Hits a Bump in Vermont House

Scott, it was our error and it's fixed. Thanks!

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Matthew Roy on 05/02/2019 at 11:13 AM

Re: “Bid to Decriminalize 'Bupe' Hits a Bump in Vermont House

36mg x 100 = 3.6g.

Was this only Seven Days' error, or did the Committee actually discuss 3,600 grams? Was this corrected in the committee discussion?

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Scott Pavek on 05/02/2019 at 9:06 AM

Re: “Bid to Decriminalize 'Bupe' Hits a Bump in Vermont House

I've seen more than one friend's life saved by buprenorphine, and think it's about as close to a miracle cure for addiction as currently exists when used correctly - for just long enough to get through acute withdrawal. The treatment industry and other profit oriented companies/ institutions often misprescribe buprenorphine by treating it as a maintenance drug like methadone (at the expense of addicts, who find themselves viciously addicted to a substance with a substantially longer clearance & withdrawal period than heroin with none of the pleasant effects). But, for helping someone get over a habit so they can focus on long term recovery, there's absolutely nothing so effective. This is a good idea.

13 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by dhudson on 05/01/2019 at 1:23 PM

Re: “Dr. Yes: Vermont's Addiction Expert, John Brooklyn, Is in Demand

I need urgent help I live in Florida and M a conic pain sufferer due to orthoarthritis and now spinal stenosis I've had hip replacements knee replacements and the screws in my shoulders holding it together barely I've been taken off of opiates for a year and a half now and can barely move I've lost over 100lbs. The doctors here in Florida are scared to death to prescribe opiates to patients so I'm left with absolutely no pain management and turned to this website actually he's seeking assisted suicide help because life is not worth living when the pain is so overwhelming you cry taking the first step in the morning I fear for tomorrow because I don't know if I'll be able to manage the pain it's nauseating makes you throw up and it makes you angry and mean to the people around you it's not how I want them to remember me like that!! If anyone can help me please let me know my email address is hoperitahanak@gmail.com. I greatly appreciate any help.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by hoperita on 04/25/2019 at 1:22 AM

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