Skip to comments.‘Full-Blown Heroin Crisis’: Vermont Governor Says Drug Surge Deadlier Than Cars or Guns
Posted on 01/10/2014 8:28:53 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Vermont’s governor dedicated his entire state of the state address this week to the scourge of drug addiction, stressing that the uptick in heroin use is more deadly that guns or “all of the other things that we keep talking about.”
“What started as an OxyContin and prescription drug addiction problem in this state has now grown into a full-blown heroin crisis,” Peter Shumlin said of the 770 percent increase in opiate treatment in his home state since 2000.
The White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy has also reported the number of deaths involving heroin jumped 45 percent between 1999 and 2010.
“I mean, obviously, it’s no more serious than the other states around us. I think, I hope that the difference is that I’m willing to confront it and, as governor, take it on head on. And, listen, here’s the challenge. We have lost the war on drugs. The notion that we can arrest our way out of this problem is yesterday’s theory,” Shumlin told PBS.
“This is one of the real battles that we’re facing that we have got to win. And we have got to do that by changing the discussion and changing the policy, so that we say that what heroin addicts and folks that are addicted to opiates are facing is a public health issue, not a crime issue. And we have got to be willing to fight it from that vantage point.”
Shumlin said he feels especially strong about the issue because so few leaders seem to want to talk about it.
“Governors don’t like talking about it because we’re afraid that when we move our policy from law enforcement, and the belief and the fantasy that you can beat this just with law enforcement, and, in fact, have to treat it with treatment and with services that will help folks move from addiction to recovery, that something will go wrong, and that therefore we don’t dare take any risk,” he said.
“So I say the risk for Vermont, frankly, the risk for the other states around the country is, we have got more people dying from opiate addiction and from drug addiction than is killing us in automobiles, killing us with guns, killing us with all of the other things that we keep talking about,” Shumlin continued. “So let’s start facing this as the health crisis that it is and change our policies, so that we can start actually making progress and moving people from addiction to recovery.”
When asked if there’s a profile of the person who’s using, the governor replied, “Everybody.”
“We tend to live under the fantasy that we’re talking about folks who are only growing up in poverty and have no opportunity and no hope. Now, listen, that’s a problem. It definitely afflicts folks who have no opportunity and no hope,” Shumlin said. “But it also afflicts people who have huge opportunity and who are wealthy. So it crosses all economic lines.”
In bigger cities, heroin can be bought for $6 or $7 a bag, he noted. In Vermont, it sells for $20 or $30 a bag.
“So you can do the math. A short drive up the interstate, and you are going to see a huge profit. So the challenge we’re facing is that, as this did begin as an OxyContin and prescription drug crisis, now heroin is cheaper than OxyContin on the streets, and it’s frankly more available,” he said. “So that’s the challenge that I’m facing as a governor. Now, the question is, how do you deal with it? And the answer for me is, I have got people who are ready for treatment. The biggest challenge with opiate addicts, an opiate addict, a drug addict, they’re the best liars and the best deniers you’re ever going to meet.”
“But there is a window of opportunity, all the research suggests, where you can convince them that treatment is the best option. And it tends to be when they’re busted, when the blue lights are flashing and when you have an opportunity. Now, the problem with my judicial system and probably every one in the country is that there is a huge gap between that moment of opportunity to talk them into treatment and the court process that it takes weeks or months to wind your way through,” Shumlin added.
“So I’m changing the judicial process that I give my prosecutors and my judges a third-party independent assessment to go right in, right upon the bust and figure out, you know, who we should be mad at, disappointed in, and who we should be afraid of.”
Hmm. Cars or guns? In that particular order?
The governor is smoking crack.
Free ObamaHeroin available now
Good Grief, now we have a full blown Drug Vortex.
Good. I'd rather have the stupid a$$es that do heroin die, than having government spend taxpayer dollars for repeated unsuccessful treatments (not to mention the damage done to society directly from theft by the addicts, neighborhood degredation, etc.)
Did he go after the real drug pushers? The doctors and the pharma sales reps?
When Vermont starts puting doctors in jail for giving addictive drugs to unsuspecting people, I’ll pat them on the back.
Why do you say that?
It’s not a legal problem, but he wants to bust them so he can have like a rap session with them? Prescription drugs make people use heroin? High blood pressure junkies. He’s a little upset that New York drug dealers are undercutting the profit margin for Vermont drug dealers? Wow.
It’s all a LIE, and must be made up entirely just to scare us. Afghanistan Produces 95% of the WORLD’S OPIUM, Our US Military CONTROLS the Afghanistan Border. It cannot be happening, How could there be such a DRAMATIC INCREASE in Heroin Usage Since we took over in Afghanistan, in Every City USA, if The Government is Officially In Charge of the very borders the product Originates from????
Ever wonder why the US/Mexico Border will never be SEALED???
The way I read it, The governor is saying the focus shouldn't be on guns or cars as killers but on drugs.
Personally, I don't care if the rich are doing heroin. This doesn't affect me. It's the "poor" who use that affects me. They are on welfare. My tax money supports them. They use my money to feed their addiction.
Meanwhile, in Delaware County, the police is trying to get the pushers. Problem is, it takes six months to get the paperwork in order. Just last week they finally got one top supplier.
The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog. G. K. Chesterton, Broadcast talk 6-11-35
Guess you’re not a Limbaugh fan then.
“Prescription drugs make people use heroin?”
Yes, indeed. Most prescription painkillers are opiates and once you are addicted to opiates, you are addicted to ALL opiates, including heroin. Junkies don’t discriminate when they need a fix.
Immoral people get the government they deserve.
Brief translation: “Solve the drug problem by legalizing heroin and all the rest of them. Then softly persuade those druggies not to use drugs.
It sounds like another incompetent liberal who along with other liberal failures is incapable of enforcing the law and arresting drug dealers. Rather than admit his own failure he announces that there is a huge “problem” that needs massive new government programs and substantial increases in taxpayer dollars. And guess who’s power will be enhanced by all these new government jobs and government funding? The governor and his administration.
This tactic has been repeated many times by liberals.
There is too much money involved with THE ESCAPE INDUSTRY that is recreational drugs in this country. Even the legal stuff. I was talking to my sister and she had been watching a news story about the legalized pot in Colorado. She said that the people in line to go into the pot store, “Looked like the stoners from high school only older.” They do. The only way, the ONLY way, to reduce recreational drug use in this country is to toughen up the recreational drug users. If you need to use recreational drugs to escape from reality, then you are screwed up. You have done nothing but make your reality worse. You escaped it for awhile, but it cost you money you could have used to actually improve your reality. I don’t hate recreational drug users. They are pathetic cowards. I do hate the dealers. They prey on these pathetic cowards. That’s chickenshit. Find a way to make money that doesn’t hurt the country. Because recreational drug use hurts our country. It produces a steady stream of frightened, pathetic people. Do people like that vote conservative? Nope. They vote for government to take care of them, and that’s the Democrat party. I’m amazed at the number of people who say “this country started going to hell in the 60s!” but don’t see how recreational drug use is involved with that. Recreational drug use took off in the 60s. And if you are a “Libertarian” and you just don’t care, then shut your yap about Obama and the Democrats and suffer the effects of THE ESCAPE INDUSTRY.
Exactly. And in most areas, heroin is cheaper than bootleg painkillers.
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