Middlesex, Vt. – Phil Scott today issued the following statement in response to increased opiate overdoses resulting from carfentanil-laced heroin.
“We all continue to be shocked and saddened by the reports that the Cincinnati, Ohio area has seen nearly 300 overdoses since August 19, with 174 occurring in a six-day period, according to the Associated Press. Our hearts go out to the Cincinnati community because it is a challenge Vermont is all too familiar with.
“Medical and law enforcement officials in the region attribute this outbreak of overdoses, in part, to heroin mixed with carfentanil, a synthetic opioid used to sedate large animals. Carfentanil is 100 times more potent than Fentanyl – a synthetic that has already added to Vermont’s public health crisis – making it the most potent and potentially deadly opioid.
“This is an extremely dangerous drug that could endanger the lives of Vermonters who are addicted to drugs and the safety of medical professionals and law enforcement, who are actively preparing for the potential arrival of carfentanil here in Vermont. This is a disturbing example of why we must be vigilant in monitoring and preparing for new developments and threats to public health and safety as related to our opiate crisis.
“As part of my comprehensive plan to address our opiate epidemic (which you can review HERE), I would appoint a director of drug abuse prevention policy in the Office of the Governor. A chief responsibility of this new director would be to ensure my Administration and I are immediately alerted to developments such as the rise of carfentanil, and could efficiently support a coordinated state and local response. Further, I will create an Opioid Coordination Council by executive order on Day 1, designed to ensure full interagency and intra-agency coordination to respond to health emergencies such as this. It is critical that we focus our long-term and ongoing efforts on prevention, enforcement and treatment. But we must also be nimble enough to immediately identify and react to new threats, working to protect our citizens and arm law enforcement and medical professionals with the necessary information and resources.”
Read Phil Scott’s full plan at www.philscott.org.
Listening, Learning & Leading: Phil Scott
Phil Scott is running to make the economy and affordability Montpelier’s top priorities. As a leader who listens and learns, he will be a consistent voice of reason and common sense in Montpelier and fight for affordability and policies and programs that benefit Vermont families and the economy. Read about Phil Scott’s plans at www.philscott.org