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The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

Health Officials Express Concern Over Recent Spike Of Overdoses In Chittenden County

Vermont Department of Health Commissioner Mark Levine.
Liam Elder-Connors
/
VPR
Vermont Department of Health Commissioner Mark Levine speaks at a press conference Friday afternoon. As of Friday morning, there were 11 reported overdoses in Chittenden County.

Public health officials are concerned about a recent spike of overdoses around Chittenden County. As of Friday morning, there were seven overdoses that required treatment at UVM Medical Center and an additional four non-emergency room overdose reversals.

Department of Health Commissioner Mark Levine said the department is waiting for tests to see if fentanyl was a factor and that people need to be cautious.

“You just don't know what is in the powder that you have bought or how potent it is, so assume it could be lethal,” Levine said. “Assume any street drug could have fentanyl or something equally dangerous in it. Don't ever use alone. Always have someone with you who can provide you with naloxone, who can call 911.”

Levine said the goal is to get people with substance use disorders into treatment — but in order for that to happen, they need to stay alive.

There was one death associated with the recent group of people treated for overdose, but it's not known if that death was drug-related.

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