On this page you will see some of the important information the Health Department has to share. The page was professionally translated and reviewed by local community members. 

Today this page is offered in Spanish, Arabic and Nepali. Later we will offer more languages. The page will be updated in the spring.

See a list of all Health Department translations. Look for this symbol to find translations:

A speech bubble with a Chinese character in it and another speech bubble with the letter A in it. This signifies translated information.

There is a lot of other health information on the HealthVermont.gov website and you can use Google Translate to see an automated translation of the whole site and many online forms. To do that, choose “Select Language’ from the top right corner of the page. Read more about Google Translate at the bottom of this page.

Do you need help understanding Health Department information? Email [email protected] to get free language services. You have a right to free interpretation services.


Alcohol and Drug Use
How can I learn about the harms of alcohol and drug use?

Alcohol, cannabis, heroin, prescription opioids and other drug use can be harmful to your health, especially if you are young, pregnant, have health conditions, take certain medications or are an older adult. Talk with your health care provider about your use, health risks and how to use less or stop using drugs or alcohol. 

How do I talk with my loved one about alcohol and drug use?

If you have concerns about drug or alcohol use by a child, older adult or other family or community member that you care for, it can be helpful to talk with someone you trust. Community leaders, health care providers and school counselors can offer support and help you create a plan to help your loved ones. 

How can I get help with alcohol and drug use for myself or a loved one?

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Description automatically generatedIf you or someone you know needs help with alcohol, cannabis, heroin, prescription opioids or other drugs, call Vermont Helplink at 802-565-5465. Vermont Helplink is free and confidential. Interpretation services are available.  


Naloxone is a medicine that can reverse an overdose caused by an opioid drug (such as prescription pain medication or heroin). When naloxone is given during an overdose, it blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and restores breathing within two to eight minutes. People should carry Naloxone if they use opioid drugs or are around people who do. 

Signs of overdose:

  • Person is unconscious or not waking up
  • Doesn’t respond to shouting or rubbing knuckles on breastbone or between upper lip and nose
  • Breathing very slowly or not breathing
  • Snoring, choking, or gurgling sounds 

Learn about opioid overdose prevention (in English).

WIC, Women, Infants and Children, is a national nutrition program. By giving your family WIC, you give them nourishing foods, breastfeeding/chestfeeding support, nutrition education, and community resources. The benefits are bigger than you think.

WIC is for Vermonters who are pregnant, have recently had a baby, and parents and caregivers with children under 5. If your family has Medicaid/Dr. Dynasaur, 3SquaresVT, or Reach Up, you are eligible for WIC. 

Applying for WIC is easy. You can call your local WIC office (interpretation available), apply online (in English), or your health care provider or community organization can refer you to WIC.

WIC appointments happen about twice a year. Appointments are in person and by phone (interpretation available). In between WIC appointments, there are in-person and online WIC nutrition activities. 

WIC staff, including nutritionists, lactation consultants, and peer counselors, offer breastfeeding/chestfeeding support, and online classes to learn more about infant feeding. 

Monthly WIC foods include fruits and vegetables, milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, tofu, peanut butter, beans, breakfast cereal, whole grains, fruit juice, and infant foods. You buy WIC foods at WIC-approved grocery stores with your WIC card. Shopping with WIC videos and the WIC Shopper app are available in many languages. Contact your local WIC office to ask for support from a WIC Shopper Helper during your first WIC shopping experience.

Give your family all of these benefits and more, including referrals to other helpful programs and even discounts (in English), by participating in WIC. If you or someone you know may be eligible for WIC, apply today!

Protect Yourself from Viruses and Infections

Germs are hard to avoid, but following these simple prevention steps can help lower the risk of you and your family getting very sick: 

Get Recommended Vaccines

Vaccines are important tools that protect against severe illnesses from COVID-19, flu, Human papillomavirus (HPV), whooping cough and more. You need vaccines throughout your life, from infancy to adulthood. Some vaccines are recommended every year. Talk with your health care provider about recommended vaccines (in English) for you and your family.

Prevent Mosquito and Tick Bites

Diseases can spread to humans from the bites of infected mosquitoes and ticks. The best way to protect yourself is to prevent mosquito and tick bites during the spring, summer and fall. Wear insect repellent when going outdoors, regularly check your body for ticks, and shower soon after spending time outside. Get more tips at Prevent Tick Bites and Prevent Mosquito Bites

Follow Food Safety Steps 

Sometimes called “food poisoning,” some types of bacteria (like E. Coli or Salmonella), parasites, and viruses can make people very sick if they eat or drink contaminated food or drinks. You can also get these infections from infected animals. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting. Protect yourself by washing your hands with soap and water regularly—especially after handling animals, before eating, and after using the bathroom or changing diapers—and follow food safety measures (in English), like cooking food to the right temperature. 

Have Safer Sex

Infections can spread through sex with an infected partner, also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A few of the best ways to have safer sex is by using a barrier, like a condom, and getting tested for STIs regularly. Some STIs are vaccine-preventable, like HPV and Hepatitis A and B. Get more information on STIs and safe sex  (in English).

Advance Directives

An advance directive is a written document that outlines your wishes for medical treatment in the future, including if you are no longer able to make those decisions. Create and register your advance directive with your health care facility and providers, so they have quick access when it is most needed. Find out more about advance directives (in English).

End of Life Decisions

Patient Choice means that people with a terminal disease have the option to be prescribed a dose of medication to hasten the end of their life. This option requires the participation of a Vermont physician. Find out more about end of life decisions (in English).

Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Death Certificates and More

How do I order copies of personal records? 

You can order certified and noncertified copies of vital records (like birth, marriage and death certificates) online (in English) or by mail.  

  • Certified copies are printed on State engraved security paper with raised seal. Each certificate costs $10. There is also a $2 fee for online service.
  • Noncertified copies are printed on plain white paper with a “noncertified copy” watermark. Noncertified copies are free. 

Full details on how to order online or by mail (in English). Order forms are available in many languages. 

Correct or change a birth, marriage or death certificate. 

Information and applications are available online (in English) to amend birth, marriage, death certificates, and other records.  Application forms are available in many languages. 

Full details and instructions for ordering and changing vital records (in English). Application forms are available in many languages. 

Filing a Complaint with the Board of Medical Practice

The Vermont Board of Medical Practice (Board) licenses physicians (MDs), physician assistants, podiatrists, anesthesiologist assistants, and radiologist assistants. To protect and promote the health and safety of Vermont patients, the Board investigates complaints of unprofessional conduct. When the Board finds that a medical provider’s actions were unprofessional the provider may be disciplined. The discipline may range from mild (a reprimand or ordering additional training) to severe (suspension or losing the right to practice). The Board protects the privacy of patients and their health information to the greatest extent possible throughout the investigation and discipline process.

How can I file a complaint with the Vermont Board of Medical Practice?

If you have a concern about a medical professional licensed by the Board, you may complete and mail or email the complaint form, available in 16 languages.

For more Information email the Board of Medical Practice or call 802-657-4220. 

Safe Storage for Guns

Almost half of Vermont adults have a gun in their home. This places them at higher risk for gun injury and death, primarily for suicide and unintentional injury.

For safe gun storage: 

  • Treat every gun as if it were loaded. 
  • Keep guns unloaded at all times. 
  • Always keep the gun's muzzle pointed in a safe direction away from anyone. 
  • Keep the gun stored in a secure location. If there are young children in the home, secure the gun in a place where only adults can access it. 
  • Store ammunition in away from the gun. 
  • Remove guns from a household where someone exhibits signs of suicide or mental health distress. 
  • Teach your child to stay away from guns and to get a trusted adult if they see one. 

Learn more about gun safety (in English).

Services and information we provide to help you live in a healthy environment

How could climate change and the weather affect my health?  

Climate change in Vermont means we have hotter summers, shorter winters, and more frequent storms and flooding. These trends are expected to continue. Here is some information and services we offer to help people deal with climate change and the weather in Vermont. 

During the summer: 
  • Heat can cause serious illness. Heat illnesses can be deadly. Find tips on how to stay safe during hot weather. 
  • Use the cooling site map (in English) to find somewhere to take a break in air conditioning or splash in cool water. Please call the site before you go to be sure it is open and check whether there are entry fees. Call 2-1-1 if you need more help finding or getting to a cooling site. 
  • If you're going to a lake or pond, be sure to look for cyanobacteria blooms before going in the water. 
  • When the air quality is bad due to wildfire smoke, stay informed about air quality alerts (in English) and learn about what to do when the air quality is bad.

During the winter: 


How can I make sure my home is healthy? 

Home is where we want to feel safe and happy. We can do things to make sure the place where we live is safe.   

Keep kids safe from lead poisoning 
  • There is no safe level of lead in the body.  
  • Too much lead in the body, or lead poisoning, can slow down a child’s growth, hurt their development and learning, and can cause behavior problems. 
  • Talk to your child’s health care provider about testing your child for lead at age 1 year and again at age 2 years.  
  • If your child recently came to the United States, talk to your child’s health care provider about testing your children who are 6 months to 16 years old.  
  • If you are renting a home that was built before 1978: 
  • Your landlord needs to follow rules for keeping the paint in good condition, so it does not cause lead poisoning. Learn more about the rules (in English).  
  • If your landlord is not following the rules, please fill out this form (in English) or call 800-439-8550 or 802-863-7220.


Test your home for radon 
  • Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. 
  • Breathing air with radon increases your risk of getting lung cancer over the course of your lifetime.  
  • 1 in 7 homes in Vermont has unsafe levels of radon. 
  • Order a free radon test kit by: 
  • Calling 800-439-8550 (toll-free in Vermont) 
  • Emailing [email protected] 

Test your drinking water well or spring  
  • If you get your drinking water from a well or spring, test it for contaminants regularly to make sure it is safe to drink.  
  • We recommend testing your well or spring (in English) for bacteria, inorganic chemicals and gross alpha radiation.  
  • You can order drinking water test kits from the Health Department Laboratory at 800-660-9997 or 802-338-4736. 


How can I apply for a license to open a food or lodging business?  

  • If you sell food or lodging to the public, you will need a Health Department license in most cases.  
  • Follow the step-by-step instructions to get started (in English).
  • If you need help, call 802-863-7220 or 800-439-8550 (in Vermont). 


Can you help me investigate situations that I’m concerned about?    

Local Health Offices

Vermont has twelve Local Health offices that work hard to help people all over the state. The people who work in Local Health live in the same communities they serve. This helps them understand what their neighbors need to stay healthy. 

Find your Local Health office

Here are Health Department services available through the Local Health offices:


If you are pregnant, recently had a baby, or have children under 5 years old, you can give your family healthy foods, breastfeeding/chestfeeding support, nutrition education, and referrals to other helpful services by participating in WIC. Find out about WIC.


If you are under 65 years old and uninsured or in some other cases, you can get some immunizations at no charge at your Local Health office. Find out about vaccines.

Local Health offices also work with partners in the community on school health, being prepared for emergencies, preventing disease and substance misuse, wellness at work and much more.

Preventing Falls

Falls are the leading cause of injury for people 65 years of age and older. However, falls are NOT an inevitable part of aging.

You may be at higher risk of falls if:

  • You have fallen more than once in the last year.
  • You have been injured in a fall in the last year.
  • You have fallen in the past three months.
  • You sometimes lose your balance or nearly fall.

Falls can be prevented. Here is what you can do:

  • Talk to your doctor: Even if falling isn't a serious problem, your doctor can address any concerns, review your medications, and help you to know what you can do to reduce your risk for falls.
  • Consider Vitamin D: Research shows that taking Vitamin D is one way to prevent falls. Talk to your doctor about whether Vitamin D is right for you. 
  • Check for safety: Make your home a place that is safe for you and others. Follow this guide (in English).

Improve balance and strength: Stay strong with balance and strength exercises, such as Tai Chi.

Domestic Violence

Anyone can be affected by domestic violence. Domestic violence, or abuse, is a pattern of violent or manipulative behavior that someone uses to gain and keep power and control over an intimate partner. This pattern can be physical, emotional, economic and/or sexual. 

Ten Warning Signs of Abuse

Does your partner:

  • Put you down or call you names?
  • Control where you go or who you spend time with?
  • Hurt you by hitting, kicking, or strangling you?
  • Blame you for their violent or abusive behaviors?
  • Threaten to take your children away?
  • Treat you like a servant or make all the decisions in the relationship?
  • Prevent you from getting or keeping a job?
  • Make or carry out threats?
  • Make you afraid using looks or gestures?
  • Pressure or force you into unwanted sex?

Answering yes to any of these questions could mean that you are in or at risk of being in an abusive relationship. It is not your fault, you are not alone, and there is help available. To get help, visit Vermont Network or call:

Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-228-7395
Sexual Violence Hotline: 800-489-7273

Tobacco Prevention and Treatment

How can youth vaping be prevented? 

Federal and state laws help protect young people from the harmful effects of smoking, vaping and other tobacco use. In Vermont you must be 21 years old to purchase and possess tobacco products. However many teens get cigarettes, cigars, vapes and smokeless tobacco through social media, friends and family. Knowing the health risks to the developing brain and body is important to prevent starting tobacco and motivating quit attempts. Visit Unhyped (in English), Vermont’s youth vaping prevention education campaign, to get the facts. 

Learn more about flavored tobacco products and deceptive tobacco and vape industry marketing practices that attract and retain youth users at CounterBalance (in English), Vermont’s tobacco prevention education resource.

What resources are available to Vermonters ready to quit tobacco use?


Description automatically generated 802Quits is Vermont’s free tobacco treatment resource for adults 18 and older. 802Quits helps people to quit tobacco and nicotine with a plan made for you. Increase your success with phone coaching, medication, online tips and tools, text messaging and peer-to-peer support in person or online. Learn more by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visiting 802quits.org (in English).

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Description automatically generatedMy Life My Quit offers free, confidential support by text and phone to teens who want to quit vaping or smoking. Programs are designed especially for youth and proven effective. Text Start My Quit to 36072 or visit mylifemyquit.org (in English) to chat with a coach.  

What are the harms of secondhand smoke and vape emissions?

The smoke from a cigarette releases thousands of dangerous, cancer-causing chemicals into the air. Electronic vapor products -- or vapes -- also release harmful chemicals along with ultrafine particles that can cause respiratory illnesses when they are inhaled. No amount of secondhand smoke or vape emissions is safe to breathe. Take these steps to protect yourself and those you love:

  • Make your home and vehicle smoke- and vape-free.
  • If you or a family member smoke or vape, take it outside and ask your guests to do the same.
  • Quit to inspire others and be a role model for your children and family. Find free quit tips, tools and support from 802Quits (in English).


For more information on secondhand smoke, visit second hand smoke (in English) or second & thirdhand smoke (in English).

Brain Health

No matter your age or how healthy you are, it is important to understand your risk of memory loss and what you can do to protect your brain health. Memory loss is not a natural course of aging. Talk to your doctor about any memory concerns. As many as 40% of dementia cases can be prevented or delayed.

The health of your brain is closely linked to the health of your body. Practice healthy habits to help protect your brain. Get enough sleep, exercise, eat nutritious food and actively manage your chronic health conditions. It’s never too late to make lifestyle changes. Evidence shows that prioritizing certain life-enriching activities, such as regular exercise, and quitting tobacco, can help to reduce risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

Diabetes Prevention
  • Ask your health care provider if you should be screened for prediabetes, especially if you’re over age 35.


  • Take a free diabetes risk quiz (in English) to see whether you’re at risk of diabetes.

  • Visit www.myhealthyvt.org (in English) for information on free workshops for the prevention or management of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and chronic pain.
Dental Health
Heart Disease

High blood pressure, or hypertension, can be treated clinically and by making lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking, getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. Clinical treatment usually involves taking a medication.

Talk to your doctor about your risk of hypertension and how to manage it if you have hypertension. 

Cancer Prevention
  • All adults should talk about cancer prevention, screening, and early detection with their health care provider. 

  • Colorectal cancer - Screening is recommended beginning at age 45. Stool-based tests and visual exams (colonoscopy) are options. Talk to your health care provider about which option is best for you.

  • Lung cancer - At age 50, if you have a history of smoking, talk to your medical provider about getting a low-dose CT scan every year, until age 80.

  • Prostate cancer - At age 55, if you have a prostate talk to your health care provider about your risk and the benefits and harms of screening, until age 69.
  • Skin cancer - Talk to your health care provider at any age about any changes to your skin or if you see changes in the size, shape, or color of skin growths, or if you have irregular moles.
You First
  • The You First (in English) heart health program helps eligible Vermonters ages 35-64 learn if they have risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood sugar. This heart health screening is the entry point to the program.

  • If risk factors are found, You First (in English) helps lower them. Members get health coaching on nutrition, physical activity, and stopping smoking, and may set goals to reduce risk.

  • In addition to health coaching, You First helps (in English) members to make lifestyle changes. These include access to home blood pressure monitors, fitness centers, veggie shares, walking programs, farmers market coupons, state park passes. Members are encouraged to work with the program to get over barriers.

  • After consistent participation in health coaching and lifestyle programming for one year, You First (in English) members are screened again to see how blood pressure and other measures have changed, and to check progress. Besides better blood pressure control, members often enjoy increased physical activity and eating more fruits and vegetables, as well as increased energy and reduced stress.
  • Cancer screening saves lives. People of average risk should begin cervical cancer screening at age 21 and breast cancer screening at age 40. Know your risk and talk to your doctor.  If you need help paying for screening or need extra support, contact Vermont’s You First program (in English) at 800-508-2222 or www.youfirstVT.org (in English). Even if you have health insurance, you may still qualify for You First. 
  • Everyone with asthma – especially children and teens – should have an up-to-date Asthma Action Plan (in English) every year. This is a written plan that you fill out with your child’s doctor to help control asthma and know what to do in emergencies.

  • There is no safe exposure to tobacco smoke, especially for children. Tobacco smoke is a dangerous risk to those with asthma. Avoid tobacco smoke and vapors by making your home and car smoke-free. Learn more about secondhand smoke (in English).
  • Support good asthma control. Visit your primary care doctor regularly and get a flu shot every year. Be sure you are using your inhaler device properly by showing your technique to your doctor!
Physical Activity and Nutrition

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and being physically active can help improve physical and mental health for everyone. 

How can I eat healthier?

Eat a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables. Fresh, frozen, or canned all work. Plus add lean proteins (chicken, fish, tofu, beans, nuts, and seeds) and whole grains. Sharing meals with others, when possible, provides important connection to others.

How can I access free food in my community?

Check here if you need help finding and paying for food (in English). See how to find the food shelf closest to you, how to enroll in nutrition assistance programs and get tips for preparing food on a budget.

How can I be more active?

Adults benefit from 150 minutes per week, or 30 minutes five days per week, of physical activity such as fast walking, biking, dancing, running, or any movement you find joyful that gets your heart beating faster. This can be split into three 10-minute sessions throughout the day. Find a friend or family member to join you to make it even more fun.

Children and youth benefit from at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day, including playing outdoors, dancing, playing sports or participating in physical education classes.

For more ideas on how to be physically active, check out Move Your Way (in English) for inspiration to get started!

Impaired Driver Rehabilitation Program

In Vermont, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you must complete the Impaired Driver Rehabilitation Program to get your unrestricted driver’s license back.

Find out more about the Impaired Driver Rehabilitation Program (in English). You can also call 802-651-1574 or email [email protected].

Suicide Prevention

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call 988 for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or text VT to 741741

If you are concerned about your or a loved one's safety or need emergency medical services, Call 9-1-1. Know the risk factors, recognize the warning signs and reach out to get help before and during a crisis. 

Safe Needle Disposal

If you find a needle you should: 

  1. Put on heavy-duty gloves and use pliers or tongs to place the needle in a thick plastic container like a laundry detergent bottle. 
  2. Screw on the lid and seal it well with strong tape, like duct tape. 
  3. Write “Do Not Recycle” on the container and throw it away in the regular trash. 
Be Safe Walking and Riding At Night

Whether you walk, drive, or bike, the shorter days of fall and winter mean it’s especially important to see and be seen on the road. Follow these tips:

  • Make sure you can be seen by drivers by wearing light and bright clothing or bring flashlights/bike lights and wear something reflective. 
  • If wearing reflectors, make sure they can be seen in front and back. A reflector should dangle. Drivers notice movement more than something still. 
  • Cyclists are required by law to use either a flashing or steady red rear light OR a minimum of 20 square inches of reflective material facing to the rear. 
  • Cross streets in well-lit areas with the best view of traffic. 
  • Use sidewalks whenever possible. 
  • If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic, as far from the roadway as you can. 
  • At the bus stop: cross behind the bus or in the crosswalk. 
  • Watch for cars, bikes, and other vehicles – because they might not be watching for you. 

When you drive at night: 

  • Drive slowly and carefully to leave yourself time to react. 
  • Never drive distracted, drowsy, aggressive, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 
  • Come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights. 
  • Stay alert, watch for bikes and walkers and share the road. 

Find out more about safety tips on the road at night.


More about Google Translate

This document was professionally translated. It was not translated with Google Translate. However, many links in this document go to English pages, where Google Translate can be used.

Google Translate uses computer programs to translate. It cannot translate all information. The translations may not be exact or accurate. 

No automated translation (done through computer programs) is perfect and it is not intended to replace human translators. Access to Google translations is provided as a service to users of the website and are provided "as is." No warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, is made as to the accuracy, reliability, or correctness of any of these translations made from English into any other language. Some content may not be accurately translated due to the limitations of the translation software.