Evolution of an Epidemic: A Timeline of the Vermont Opioid Crisis | Opioid Crisis | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Evolution of an Epidemic: A Timeline of the Vermont Opioid Crisis 

click to enlarge Howard Dean, Tom Dalton, Peter Shumlin - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR / JAMES BUCK / JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / James Buck / Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • Howard Dean, Tom Dalton, Peter Shumlin
Hundreds of Vermonters have died from opioid overdoses in the past quarter century. More than 8,000 are currently in treatment for opioid-use disorder. Countless others 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 2014 State of the State address. From the invention of OxyContin to a single night in January 2019 when the University of Vermont Medical Center treated seven overdose patients, our timeline tracks the epidemic in Vermont.

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Did we miss anything? We’ll update this timeline as the epidemic continues. Contact us at hooked@sevendaysvt.com.

Need Help?

If you or someone you love are suffering from opioid use disorder and need treatment and support resources, here's how to get connected:


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"Hooked: Stories and Solutions From Vermont's Opioid Epidemic" is made possible in part by funding from the Vermont Community Foundation, the University of Vermont Health Network and Pomerleau Real Estate. The series is reported and edited by Seven Days news staff; underwriters have no influence on the content.


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About The Author

Kate O'Neill

Kate O'Neill

Bio:
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

More by Kate O'Neill

  • 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.
    • Jun 5, 2019
  • 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.
    • Apr 10, 2019
  • Hooked: How So Many Vermonters Got Addicted to Opioids
  • Hooked: How So Many Vermonters Got Addicted to Opioids

    Why are so many people addicted to heroin in Vermont? Kate O'Neill weaves together memories of her late sister, Madelyn Linsenmeir, and conversations with Maddie’s friend Katie Counter as she reports on the history of the state’s opioid epidemic.
    • Feb 20, 2019
  • More »

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  • 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.
    • Jun 5, 2019
  • More »

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