Vermont is getting $3 million in federal funding to expand treatment options for addiction to heroin and other opioids, officials announced Friday.
The funding will go toward expanding access and treatment options in Rutland, Addison, Chittenden and Franklin counties.
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Vermont is one of 11 states that will be getting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration funding for medication-assisted treatment programs for opioid addiction. Leahy created the funding program after he chaired a Senate Judiciary field hearing in Rutland last year that showed a need for more treatment options, his office said.
"Heroin use and overdoses, along with prescription opioid abuse, pose a grave public health risk," said Kathryn Power, with the administration. "Expanding medication-assisted treatment programs can have an enormous positive public health impact."
The number of Vermont residents getting such treatment rose from 594 in 2010 to 2,500 in 2014, according to the Vermont Department of Health.
"We've come a long way in building our capacity to offer medication-assisted therapy and recovery support for Vermonters who are struggling with addiction," said Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen. "This grant comes at a time when we really need more resources to expand and enhance our medical and psychosocial supports to the people and areas of greatest need."