Long visible at the street level in towns and cities across the country, the extent of the opiate scourge in rural Vermont burst into the national consciousness last month, when Gov. Peter Shumlin devoted his entire State of the State message to what he said was a “full-blown heroin crisis.” Much of New England is now also reporting record overdoses and deaths, reports the New York Times.
Rutland is a blue-collar town that rose to prominence in the mid-1800s with the excavation of nearby marble quarries and the arrival of the railroad. It stepped up its fight against heroin more than a year ago much the way addicts do when they try to stop using — by finally admitting the problem.
One of the galvanizing events occurred in September 2012, when a man was inhaling gas from an aerosol can while driving on city streets. The police say he passed out with his foot on the accelerator and plowed into a bank of parked cars at 80 miles an hour, killing Carly Ferro, 17, a high school student who was leaving work.
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