Vermont gets $9.5M to better track opioid abuse statewide

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Health Department is going to be receiving a three-year, $9.5 million grant to help the state do more to track and respond to opioid overdoses.

The grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was announced Tuesday by Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy.

The money will enable the Health Department to review the 2018 drug-related fatalities and see where those who died had previous interactions with state systems. There were 110 opioid-related deaths last year, up slightly from 108 deaths in 2017.

Leahy said that officials know what works in preventing overdose deaths, but they must make sure the “knowledge is reaching even our smallest towns and villages.”

Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine calls the opioid crisis “the most complex public health challenge of our time.”

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