Help your patients with issues related to alcohol and other drugs.
On the phone or online, VT Helplink offers personalized services, based on your specific needs. Whether you're seeking help for yourself or someone you care about, VT Helplink can connect you to the services you need. A caring, trained specialist will help you or your loved one take a step toward recovery.
Visit VTHelplink.org or call 802-565-LINK (or toll-free 833-565-LINK) 8am to 10pm Monday through Friday, and 8am to 6pm on weekends and holidays. VT Helplink is open on all holidays. You can also use the quick online screener to get connected to the right services for you.
Treatment during COVID-19: Treatment service providers have guidelines in place to protect patients and staff.
Alcohol, tobacco and drugs can be very dangerous for a baby. The best advice is not to use any alcohol, tobacco or other drugs during your entire pregnancy. Drinking any amount of alcohol can harm a baby's growth and development. Smoking or chewing tobacco can hurt a baby's growth too. Street drugs are very dangerous and harmful to a baby. If your patient who is pregnant is using drugs, it is best for them to stop.
For a healthy pregnancy there are no known safe amounts of alcohol, cannabis, opioids or tobacco. But when it comes to those substances, there are a lot of questions. Questions that need open conversations between pregnant Vermonters and their healthcare professionals. To aid that conversation, we’ve created an easy-to-use page that includes the latest information, new outreach materials and talking tips–because One More Conversation Can Make the Difference. Learn more at healthvermont.gov/1MoreConversation.If your patient need helps to stop smoking or using alcohol or other drugs during pregnancy, advise them to contact 802Quits or their local WIC office for support.
Alcohol can affect a baby’s development in the very first weeks, even before you know you're pregnant. Prenatal alcohol exposure can result in birth defects that can affect a child's growth, appearance, cognitive development, and behavior — and it's 100% preventable.
Cannabis use during pregnancy can be harmful to a baby’s health. The chemicals in cannabis (in particular, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) pass through the mother's system to the baby and can negatively affect the baby’s development.
Although more research is needed to better understand how cannabis may affect the mother and their baby during pregnancy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends against using cannabis during pregnancy.
For more information, see the CDC's document "What You Need to Know About Marijuana Use and Pregnancy."
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of opioid use disorder.
Visit the MAT page for more information.
Substance misuse in Vermonters age 65 and older is increasing. With this and the fact that the older adult population is continuing to grow, there is an increased need for awareness of safe substance use, identifying risky use and substance use disorders, and treatment and recovery services for this group.
Visit the Substance Use and Older Adults page for more information.
Prescription Opioid Awareness
The RxAware page offers information on what your patient needs to know about prescription opioids, options for managing pain, side effects and withdrawal and how to find help.
Handouts for Patients
- The Opioid Patient Information Sheet* contains information regarding the risks associated with opioids and proper disposal.
- The Opioid Prescription - Informed Consent Sample Form* should be signed by the patient and kept on file at the medical practice office.
- The Opioid Prescribing Rule - What You Need to Know contains information about the Opioid Prescribing Rule.
- The VPMS Advisory Notice contains information regarding the Vermont Prescription Monitoring System.
The documents above have been translated into Arabic, Burmese, French, Kirundi, Nepali, Somali, and Spanish to provide to new Vermonter patients.
- Patient Education: Opioids & Benzodiazepines
- Patient Education: Tapering Off Opioids
- Patient Education: Naloxone and Opioids
- Patient Education: Alternative Pain Management
- Patient Education: Pain Expectations
*Required by law to be distributed to patients receiving a new opioid prescription.
Prescription Drug Disposal
The Prescription Drug Disposal page offers information on National Prescription Drug Take Back Days, permanent prescription drug disposal sites and free prescription medication mail-back envelopes.
Screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment in a medical setting such as a primary care office, hospital emergency department, or community clinic is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to identify patients with substance use disorders and those at risk of developing them with the goal of reducing and preventing related health consequences, disease, accidents and injuries.
This approach also allows medical providers to form closer relationships with the substance abuse treatment providers in their area, developing a ‘warm hand off’ protocol for patients who need treatment.
Visit the Screening, Brief Intervention & Navigation to Services page for more information.
The use of alcohol or drugs early in life can have a negative impact on physical and emotional health. Substance use can prevent proper brain development during a critical age and impact daily brain functioning. Helping your children make healthy choices is critically important.All teens are at risk of substance use and other serious issues, but as parents, you are their #1 influence. Parent Up Vermont helps you talk with your children early and often, no matter how awkward the conversation. Get tips for how to start and continue these conversations at ParentUpVT.org.
For more information on adolescent brain development, check out webinar by Kreig Pinkham, Washington County Youth Service Bureau Executive Director, "Risk, Reward and Resiliency – A Strength-based Approach to Understanding Youth and Substance Use."
To order materials for patients at no cost, visit The Vermont Alcohol and Drug Information Clearinghouse (VADIC).
Available materials include:
- ParentUp resources for parents to talk to their kids about substance use
- ADAP Treatment Directory & Resource Guides (State and County Treatment Information)
- Opioid Prescriber Posters (Primary Care, Pediatrics, Dental)
- SAMHSA Tips for Teens brochures
To find information to help patients with tobacco cessation, visit the Health Department's Tobacco Program page.