Home to the world’s first Ben and Jerry’s ice cream parlor, Vermont was one of the first territories added to the United States following the ratification of the Constitution. Vermont is rich with historical remnants from colonial days, boasting original buildings and bridges that predate its acceptance as a state.

Bordering the coastal states of Massachusetts and New York, Vermont is also in close proximity to the main ports for drug trafficking along the east coast. Both Boston and New York City have served as hubs for drug traffickers from around the world. Because of Vermont’s central location to these two ports, the drug trade has been an issue for the state for decades.

Vermont has seen a dramatic increase in both heroin use and prescription opioid abuse since 2000. In 2013, a study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse revealed that Vermont had the highest rate of illicit drug use in the country.

Vermont Opioid Abuse And Overdose Statistics

Vermont is no stranger to the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the nation. Back in 2016, Vermont reported 101 opioid-related overdose deaths. This report does not take into account adverse reactions, hospitalizations or death resulting from behavior related to being under the influence of opioids.

In the years between 2013 and 2016, deaths resulting from heroin overdose increased by 25. This statistic was surpassed by deaths resulting from synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, in which the number of individuals who lost their lives due to an overdose nearly tripled.

Vermont Marijuana Abuse Statistics

Marijuana abuse in Vermont contributes significantly to the state’s status as having the highest rate of illicit drug use in the country. According to the Deputy Commissioner for Vermont’s Department of Health, Vermont ranked highest in the country for marijuana use. Thirteen percent of Vermont residents reported using the drug at least once in the last 30 days.

Vermont’s Department of Health points to the state’s geographic location to explain these heightened drug statistics. Many of Vermont’s larger cities are located along the main highway that runs from Philadelphia to Montreal, hitting both Boston and New York City in the middle. This makes transportation fast and easy for anyone looking to sell an illicit substance.

Alcohol Abuse Statistics In Vermont

Alcohol abuse and addiction have been a big issue in Vermont since 2012. Alcohol abuse is defined as using alcohol underage, making risky decisions while under the influence of alcohol or combining alcohol with other drugs. Alcohol addiction is defined by an individual’s physical dependence on alcohol and is often preceded by alcohol abuse.

Although rates of alcohol abuse and addiction have remained constant from 2012 to 2016, the rate of adult admission into rehab centers for the treatment of alcohol abuse or alcohol addiction has dropped by almost 1,000 people per year. In 2016, only nine percent of individuals with a diagnosed alcohol use disorder sought treatment in a state-funded facility.

Vermont Addiction Treatment

Like other medical and psychiatric illnesses, addiction is a serious disease that should be treated by trained professionals. Finding the appropriate drug or alcohol rehabilitation program can mean the difference between recovery and relapse.

Fortunately, Vermont has many treatment options for alcohol abuse and any other type of substance dependency. Along with health systems that sponsor external rehab programs, several privately owned rehab facilities are fully licensed and accredited. Vermont also has many state-funded programs available.

While there are many approaches to addiction treatment, not all therapies will work for each person. Every addiction is different, and many aspects of the addiction need to be analyzed to understand what the appropriate approach to treatment would be.

Intervention Services

For some individuals, admitting that they have a substance abuse disorder or an addiction is difficult. Sometimes that individual may not even realize that they have a substance abuse disorder. For cases like this, an intervention may be necessary.

Professional intervention services are available in Vermont. Whether family members are unsure of the right approach to use for their loved one’s intervention or they would like a professional to hold the intervention, professional services can help guide the first steps towards recovery by helping to illuminate just how much the subject’s addiction is affecting their life.

Drug And Alcohol Detox

Some addictions can be so severe that their withdrawal symptoms may become life-threatening. The severity of these types of addictions is defined by the length of use of a drug, how much of the drug was used and the type of drug.

Drugs that may require medically supported detox include:

  • Opioids
  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepines

Medical detox programs can be a standalone facility or part of a larger health system or drug rehabilitation center. Clinical supervision is offered around the clock for drug and alcohol detox programs, and medication is sometimes used to help ease withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Using a combination of therapies and activities that heal both the mind and the body, inpatient rehab is one of the most effective types of addiction treatment. During residential addiction treatment, patients reside at the facility that is hosting their treatment program. Living on-site is one of the reasons inpatient drug and alcohol rehab can be so successful for patients, as they are completely removed from the relapse opportunities of their previous environment and can focus fully on their recovery.

Inpatient drug rehab programs can vary greatly in length of stay, but most residential programs last 30, 60 or 90 days. Longer stays in treatment can be coordinated when necessary.

Outpatient Addiction Treatment

An outpatient drug rehab program can be used as a standalone treatment for addiction, but this level of care is more often recommended as a transitional tool or a ”step-down” program for individuals who are moving from a fully supported residential program back to independent life. Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab in Vermont offers support and counseling for patients in an outpatient setting, allowing them to return home after treatment each day.

Some outpatient programs are more intensive than others. Intensive outpatient programs will generally meet 4-5 days per week for several hours each day. Traditional outpatient programs may meet 2-3 days per week for only a couple hours each day. One of the biggest benefits of outpatient drug rehab is access to a network of support from individuals who can relate to each other’s struggles.

Alumni Services

Alumni services are one way that some programs offer a continued support network after treatment. Alumni services enable individuals who have completed an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab program to keep in touch with each other and extend a helping hand when needed. With continued support, organizations can help connect individuals from levels of recovery and from a variety of drug rehab programs.

Specialized Addiction Treatment Programs In Vermont

Some drug rehab programs focus on specific types of addiction or methods of addiction treatment.

Specialized treatment programs available in the state of Vermont include:

  • Treatment for co-occurring disorders
  • Gender-specific treatment groups
  • Treatment programs for adolescents and young adults
  • Court-ordered treatment programs
  • Luxury treatment programs
  • Holistic therapies
  • Religious or faith-based treatment
  • 12-step programs and 12-step alternatives

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment is the use of FDA-approved medications in combination with behavioral therapies to maintain long-term recovery. Medication-assisted treatment is similar to drug and alcohol detox in the types of medications that may be used to prevent withdrawal, however medical detox does not typically include behavioral therapy.

Treatment For Co-occurring Disorders In Vermont

For many people, addiction coincides with a mental health disorder. This dual diagnosis of a substance use disorder and mental illness is known as co-occurring disorders. For this type of diagnosis, it is very important patients receive integrated treatment for the mental health symptoms as well as the addiction.

Several facilities in the state of Vermont specialize in treating co-occurring disorders. Using trained therapists and addiction treatment specialists, this type of comprehensive approach offers better treatment outcomes for individuals with a co-occurring disorder than traditional programs.

Addiction Treatment Therapies

Successful treatment for addiction often includes a carefully planned combination of behavioral and complementary therapies.

Each patient may require a different combination of these therapies in order to overcome their addiction:

  • Behavioral Therapies
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Family behavioral therapy
  • Contingency management interventions
  • Multisystemic therapy
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Equine therapy
  • Journaling
  • Aromatherapy
  • Exercise
  • Gardening

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling is a core component of addiction treatment. These one-on-one therapy sessions are generally led by a licensed professional such as a psychiatrist or therapist. Patients may feel more comfortable sharing intimate information with therapists during an individual counseling session. These sessions are important in identifying the underlying cause of someone’s addiction, as well as identifying the triggers that contributed to the onset of their addiction.

Group Counseling And Support Groups

Both group counseling and support groups are an essential part of many rehab programs in Vermont. Used in both outpatient and inpatient programs, these types of groups can help patients feel like they are not alone and can offer extended support to the patients who need it most. Participation in support groups can greatly increase a patient’s chances of recovery.

Family Therapy

The impact of addiction often spreads much further than the individual, many times involving families as well. The same is true when it comes to addiction treatment. Recovering from addiction can be more effective when all affected members of the family participate and receive counseling to work through the addiction’s impact on their own lives. Families are encouraged to participate in therapy and other recovery activities with their loved one to find their own healing and be able to offer deeper support.

Nutrition Education And Exercise

Addiction is an illness that affects the mind, spirit and body. Drug and alcohol addiction treatment should strive to improve all three of these areas. Many facilities offer amenities that cater to physical health, such as workout facilities, walking trails, pools and more.

Some treatment facilities also offer nutrition education. The goal of these programs is to provide not only the nutrition necessary for the body to heal, but also to ignite an interest in whole-body health for each patient. Understanding the importance of treating the body with respect and awareness can help motivate patients to practice healthier eating and exercise habits.

Stress Management

Stress management is a technique taught in some treatment programs that coaches patients through healthier ways of managing their stress. These lessons may include methods like meditation, breathing exercises and recognizing when stress is too great to deal with alone.

Life Skills

The lessons and skills taught during addiction treatment are meant to last a lifetime. To achieve long-term recovery, many addiction treatment programs strive to teach their patients life skills that can help them live a fulfilling life. Everyday tasks such as creating a resume, managing a budget or enrolling in college can often be the key to recovery.

Paying For Vermont Addiction Treatment

Many commercial insurances offer coverage for both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs.

The following insurances may provide coverage for drug and alcohol rehabilitation in Vermont:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont
  • Cigna
  • Aetna
  • The Vermont Health Plan
  • Martin’s Point HealthCare U.S. Family Health Plan

If an individual does not have coverage for drug and alcohol rehab through their health insurance, there are other ways to receive assistance for the cost of treatment. Looking for scholarships or grants can help cover expenses, as well as asking for a payment plan or financing through the rehab facility.

Length Of Treatment

The length of treatment needed for each patient varies based on the severity of the addiction and how they respond to treatment. While inpatient rehab is recommended for most types of addiction, those with severe addictions may need to undergo treatment for six months or more. Less-severe addictions may do well with a shorter program that would last from 30-90 days.

Traveling For Treatment

Heading out of state for addiction treatment may sound overwhelming at first, however many families choose to send their loved ones away for treatment. Heading out of state ensures that the patient is completely removed from the connections and triggers of their past, allowing them to be completely immersed in their treatment.