The percentage of people struggling with opioid addiction in Vermont has long been higher than the national average. The state and local authorities have made addressing the opioid epidemic a priority, and as a result, thousands of residents have gotten treatment. At the end of February 2019, over 8000 drug-addicted adults were being treated for opioid addiction. More focus is being placed on treating the addiction and helping addicts gain access to the treatment resources they need. The increase in people seeking treatment started in 2013 with the implementation of the bud-and-spoke program where over 5400 people were treated for drug addiction.
In 2017, the number of people being treated for addiction jumped to close to 8000, which was an increase of 47%. State authorities estimate that the average Vermont resident who is addicted to opioids accesses treatment for about 10 months. The hub-and-spoke program allows for high-intensity treatment and aftercare. In 2017, the Vermont Department of Health estimated that between 15,000 and 20,000 residents, or roughly 4% of the adult population were addicted to or dependent on opioids. The information gathered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicated that over 7000 Vermont adults were in treatment that year, but it could have been more.
The hub-and-spoke program has been the cornerstone of the approach used for addiction treatment within the state. Throughout the state are nine addiction clinics that provide high-intensity treatment, which is considered the hub. Once a patient has been stabilized through the program, they continue with their treatment, which is essentially aftercare treatment that is considered the spokes. Within the state of Vermont are 131 residential treatment beds for adults and 13 adolescent beds. In 2017, over 70% of the adult beds and 60% of the adolescent beds were full each month. There are many different drug treatment services within the state and effective opioid rehab centers for addicts from all age groups.