Rutland's Heroine Epidemic Makes NY Times Front Page

By FOX44/ABC22 News

Published 02/28 2014 09:16PM

Updated 02/28 2014 11:25PM

RUTLAND, Vt- The city of Rutland made national headlines on Friday, though the article was not singing its praises.  Rutland's heroine epidemic landed itself on the front page of the New York Times.  

Reactions to the news from those living in Rutland ranged. Some hoped the Times story would increase opiate abuse awareness. 

"I've personally witnessed people exchange needles," says Rutland resident Rebecca Lambert.  "People are put in jail for drug related crimes when what they really need is treatment."

Lambert, a mother of two, says she hopes the national attention will make lawmakers and city officials take a closer look.  Others say Rutland is being targeted.

"It's disappointing to have an article like this," says Matthew Patry who grew up in Rutland.  "I realize Rutland does have problems, but I think there are a number of communities in the state that  have these problems."

Still, more people think the important thing to focus on is progress.  Specifically, what city and state officials are doing to combat opiate abuse in Rutland and the state.

"What's more important is what people like Chief Baker and the mayor have done with Project Vision," says Rutland resident Daniel Quinn.  "I think the way the community came together regarding the opiate treatment center is great."

Project Vision was also mentioned in the Times story.  The project is geared towards decreasing blight in Rutland neighborhoods.  The city also opened its first methadone clinic in November. 

Senator Patrick Leahy announced Friday the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing in Rutland to discuss state efforts in combating opiate abuse.  That will be March 17th. 

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