FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from the Vermont Democratic Party
MONTPELIER, VT — Bruce Olsson, Chair of the Vermont Democratic Party, released the following statement in response to recent social media attacks on our Democratic community pertaining to the opioid crisis and overdose epidemic: “Our Vermont communities are a better place when we join together in support of our neighbors who need our help most. But during the Covid-19 pandemic, isolation, stress, and economic hardship have compounded an existing crisis that has periled our state for decades: the opioid crisis and overdose epidemic. Many Vermonters have seen their situations magnified as support systems and treatment options have become unavailable or limited in access as the need for mental health support in our communities continues to rise. “Data tells us that the United States’ opioid crisis has increased during the ongoing pandemic, with a 20% national increase in fatal overdoses from 2019 and a record-breaking high, including here in Vermont, where 134 Vermonters died last year from overdose deaths as of November 2020, up from 99 deaths in the previous year. Former President Trump did not declare a national emergency on the opioid crisis, despite his opioid commission’s recommendation and a promise to do so. The national news media has largely stayed silent as this parallel epidemic continues to affect Vermonters of all socioeconomic backgrounds in every corner of our state. “We hold steadfast to the promise of our Party Platform, which states our commitment to health care as a human right, and we call for compassion over stigma, and kindness over shame. We support the work of our elected officials and policy advocates to bring awareness to the ongoing opioid crisis, and we call for legislation that ensures improved access to preventative and proactive health care, treatment and recovery for those suffering from substance use disorders, especially at this crucial time.” The Vermont Democratic Party is in no way affiliated with “Northeast Democrats” and rejects the opinions expressed by that Twitter account.
Asha Carroll Communications Director Vermont Democratic Party firstname.lastname@example.org (802) 391-4035