Recent Media

Vermont Conversation: Drug overdoses break records in ‘the other epidemic’

February 17, 2021
David Goodman

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"We discuss the overdose crisis and possible solutions, including drug legalization and harm reduction efforts, with Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan, anti-poverty and opioid policy advocate Brenda Siegel, Rep. Selene Colburn and Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George. And we hear about the personal experience of addiction, homelessness and recovery with Jedediah Popp, co-director for the Windham County Consortium on Substance Use, who is in recovery from substance use disorder."

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Fatal overdoses rose during the pandemic — but they’d been increasing for years

May 16th, 2021
Emma Cotton

"The Legislature has preliminarily approved a bill, H.225, that would legalize the possession of small amounts of nonprescribed buprenorphine, a drug that helps people with substance use disorder......Some legislators, first skeptical about legalizing the drug when it isn’t prescribed, changed their minds after an outpouring of testimony from Vermonters close to the issue.

But Siegel, who helped push for the bill to be introduced, said those actions haven’t yet improved the situation on the ground. Over the past several weeks, she’s watched the movement of H.225 closely.

“When it became clear that they were going to pass it out of committee,” she said, “seconds after I heard that, I heard that another young person in my community died.”

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Advocates hail passage of buprenorphine decriminalization bill in House

April 12th, 2021
Greg Sukkienik

“We want to send a strong and clear public health harm reduction message to people who are using heroin That if you have the choice between buprenorphine and heroin, please choose buprenorphine,” Siegel said. “That you have value and that you deserve to survive. And, that we are going to do what it takes to make sure that you have the tools you need to survive.”

...."The bill is one of a suite of legislative initiatives that a group of lawmakers, prosecutors and activists including Siegel pushed for in February. It’s the first of those proposals to pass out of committee and win approval on the House floor."

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Press Conference on Legislative Priorities and the Overdose Crisis

Brenda Siegel, Attorney General TJ Donavon, Chittenden County States Attorney Sarah George, Addison County States Attorney Dennis Wygmans, Representatives Tanya Vyhovsky, Selene Colburn, Brian Cina, Dane Whitman, Will Notte, and Senator Kesha Ram talk about how we will move away from the criminal justice system and toward science and lived experience experts to heal this crisis.

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