Heroin and Other Drugs

Opioid Misuse, Abuse & Dependence in Vermont

The percentage of Vermonters reporting prescription pain reliever misuse is going down significantly in Vermont. The decrease is particularly dramatic for Vermonters 18 to 25 years old.

Heroin use in the past year remains well below 1% in Vermont. A report from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration found that in any given year almost 80% of new heroin users in America had misused prescription pain relievers.

The general pattern for Vermont is a lot like the national trend: prescription drug misuse has slowly gone down, access to treatment for those dependent on opioids has widened, and there has been an increase in disease and death associated with heroin use.

Other Drug Use in Vermont

National data shows that Vermont has one of the highest percentages of illicit (illegal) drug use in the country. The illicit drugs this data examines are:

  • cocaine (including crack)
  • heroin
  • hallucinogens
  • inhalants
  • nonmedical use of prescription-type pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives

Using illicit drugs can cause harm in a person’s life after only one use, or “experimenting”. In other cases, harm can be caused after a long period of use and high dose use. Diseases like stroke and cancer can be influenced by drug use, making it easier for Vermonters to get sick if they use drugs. The cost of managing the impact of substance use in America is estimated to cost more than 600 billion dollars each year.

It is important to look at the reasons why more Vermonters are using illicit drugs than citizens in most other states. The Department of Health is monitoring how our efforts are making a positive difference with illicit drug use, especially among young people in Vermont.

The Challenge of Opioid Addiction

How to Get Help

See Data and Reports for more information on opioid and other drug misuse, abuse, and dependence in Vermont.

See How We Are Doing to learn more about goals and outcomes being tracked in Vermont.


Naloxone Information

Vermont's Opioid Overdose Prevention & Reversal Project: Narcan/Naloxone Overdose Rescue

See Division of Emergency Preparedness & EMS Statewide Incident Reporting Network (SIREN) for EMS use of Naloxone Data Briefs.

See Division of Emergency Preparedness & EMS Emergency Medical Services Education for EMS Naloxone Protocol Education.


Information from National Experts

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): Commonly Abused Drugs

NIDA: Children and Teens

NIDA: Parents and Educators

NIDA: Parents and Families