On January 10, 2024

Public safety, overdoses, substance treatment and housing


By Jeanne Zimmerman

Offering treatment and then releasing people back to the streets, while blaming the individual for not “successfully participating” in ongoing treatment sets individuals up for immediate and repeated failures.

 Public safety, overdoses, effective substance treatment and re-housing concern all of us. Kudos to John Bossange for writing in support of rehousing for our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters on the streets of Burlington. Though you may not have a direct personal relationship with individuals in these circumstances, it is certain that you know someone who does. 

One of the most simple and “common-sense” aspects of a solution to this complex problem must include the obvious: comprehensive substance treatment that also gives people who have completed detox and a residential treatment program a place to live. Immediate access upon release from treatment into temporary (hotel?) housing that includes ongoing connection to social services supporting moves to more permanent housing is an excellent place to begin. Such a plan offers the greatest opportunity for successful drug treatment for unhoused individuals, increasing their recovery rates and allowing them to put their energies into rebuilding their lives and the lives of their families. Such a plan also reduces public funding necessary for substance treatment, emergency, social service and police costs, while improving our collective sense of public safety and making our towns more welcoming to all residents and visitors.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

A public education Vermonters support and value

May 22, 2024
By Margaret MacLean Editor’s note: Margaret MacLean, from Peacham, has been an educator for 50 years, working as a teacher, school principal and consultant both in Vermont, the U.S. and internationally. Over the past 14 years Vermont has enacted three sweeping school district consolidation laws. The overarching goals of Act 153, Act 156, and Act…

Vermont’s lost submarine memorial

May 22, 2024
Dear Editor, At the Veteran Administration (VA) in White River Jct, VT, there is a distinct memorial dedicated to the Submarine USS Flier (SS 250) lost during World War II.  Ever mindful of our lost shipmates, friends and family that have served in the submarine service of our country, the U.S. Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI)…

H.121 poses significant risk to Vermont’s business community

May 22, 2024
Dear Editor, As the CEO of the Vermont Country Store (VCS), I strongly support consumer privacy as does the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and many peer companies in the state. I wholeheartedly endorse the Connecticut law that was the foundation of H.121. However, as passed it is my hope that Governor Scott will veto H.121.…

Vermont’s outsize appetite for taxes

May 22, 2024
Dear Editor, Most Vermont taxpayers have just experienced a period of tax focus, specifically property taxes to support our public schools. Some communities are still going through the valuable public debate about property taxes and, more generally, the overall tax burden and trying to evaluate that relative to what we receive for our tax dollars.…