Statement from Governor Phil Scott on Senator Leahy’s Work to Address Addiction in Vermont and Rural Communities Throughout the Country
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement regarding Senator Patrick Leahy’s ongoing work to address the nation’s addiction crisis and the awarding of $6.6 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for Rural Centers of Excellence on Substance Use Disorders. The initiative to create and fund these rural centers of excellence was authored by Senator Leahy.
“I want to thank Senator Leahy for his work to fund drug addiction prevention, treatment and recovery resources for the states. Year after year, he is one of the nation’s most relentless and effective advocates for these programs. We appreciate all he does for Vermont.
“The addition of three centers of excellence to address opioid addiction in rural America, including one in Vermont, is another important step forward. The federal government’s recognition of the groundbreaking work Vermont is doing to combat the opioid crisis is an important validation of our strategy. Yet, we must remind ourselves that the very fact we need these centers is an indication of how much work we have ahead of us.
“The unfortunate reality is addiction continues to derail far too many lives, families and, in some cases, communities. It impacts every corner of our state and society, from our schools to the workforce to our healthcare system. Its social and human impacts are significant and heartbreaking. It is also driving up the costs of healthcare, education, social safety net programs, corrections and public safety.
“We cannot let up. This new center for excellence at the University of Vermont is an important step forward and I hope the University will convert this designation and funding into swift, specific and measurable results.”