Newport police chief: opioid demand down, crack cocaine up

The demand for opioids is easing in the Newport, Vermont, area but the demand for crack cocaine is growing, Police Chief Seth DiSanto told U.S. Congressman Peter Welch.

DiSanto was among dozens from the Northeast Kingdom dealing with the opioid epidemic who met with U.S. Rep. Peter Welch on Monday.

Welch said the federal government has pumped $10 billion into the response to the opioid crisis across the country, with $1 billion of that coming to the states, the Caledonian Record reported.

“It’s a challenge all across the country. This knows no bounds, it’s not a red state — blue state situation,” Welch said.

The law enforcement and justice community realize they can’t “arrest our way out of this,” DiSanto said. They are working with others on a holistic way involving intervention, recovery and prevention, he said.

A continuum of services is essential, including access to child care, transportation, job training, higher education, housing and support for family members, particularly seniors who may be exploited by family members or are raising grandchildren, community leaders said.

Christina Plazek, head of the BAART clinic, which provides treatment, sought financial support to open more clinics in rural areas.

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