Most Vermont 2017 overdose victims had state agency contact

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In this Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015 photo a nasal administered dose of Narcan is seen in school nurse Kathleen Gage’s Pilgrim High School office Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Warwick, R.I. A new state law requires middle schools and high schools to stock Narcan, which can reverse the effects of an overdose of drugs such […]

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A new report from the Vermont Health Department found that almost all the victims of fatal drug overdoses in 2017 had contact with at least one state agency prior to their death.

The “Social Autopsy” released Monday found that 98% of the 109 people who died of drug overdoses in 2017 had interacted with at least one state agency. Two-thirds interacted with three or more.

The review found many had varied physical and mental health conditions. They also were prescribed more controlled substances than the general Vermont population.

Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said the report will be a valuable resource in helping people with substance abuse disorders. 

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