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Opiate Addiction and Treatment: Interview with Jackie Corbally

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Jackie Corbally, Burlington’s opioid policy manager, comes to the WBTV-LP studio at the Media Factory for an interview about her work in addiction treatment and recovery.

The city recently hired Corbally for the new position that will focus on using data to measure the impact of policies and programs meant to curb the abuse of heroin and other opioids.

Police and social workers say addiction is the driving force behind property crime, and the loss of life from overdose continues to rise both in Vermont and nationwide.

In fact, The Washington Post recently reported, using federal data, that heroin overdose deaths have surpassed gun homicides in the United States.

Corbally talks about why policymakers have come to view addiction as a chronic health problem requiring public health response in addition to a crime issue requiring a law enforcement response.

She also speaks to the ongoing need for timely access to addiction treatment, so help is available when people decide they’re ready to seek it.

A VTDigger investigation last year showed that people in Chittenden, Addison, and Franklin counties were waiting as long as a year for a treatment slot at the Chittenden Clinic—the region’s only large-scale intensive clinic for people with opioid addiction.

Efforts by the state, social service nonprofits, and medical providers have since ramped up and reduced wait times to weeks or months, but the goal is to get those waits down to days or ideally hours, Corbally says.

She discusses a number of possible solutions and delves into what city leaders mean when they say their goal is to free Burlington from the grip of the opioid epidemic.

Produced by Media Factory partners VTDigger, RETN, and VCAM.

Episode Number: 
Original Airdate: 
Friday, December 9, 2016

Politics, Opinion, & Current Events