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State makes progress in opioid crisis, more work needed

February 8, 2019

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont panel says in a recent progress report the state has made improvements on the ongoing opioid crisis, but there is still a long way to go.

The Opioid Coordination Council says in its report released Thursday wait times at treatment facilities have been reduced, the overdose reversal drug naloxone has become more readily available and emergency room visits have decreased.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine says 110 Vermonters died from opioid overdoses last year, an increase of two from 2017.

The report makes several recommendations for this year, including prevention programs in schools and better screening people for substance use disorder.

The state is planning to use money obtained from tobacco company settlements to invest up to $2.3 million in prevention, treatment and recovery initiatives.

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