Different approach to fight against Heroin & Opiate Addiction

By Christine Souders | csouders@nexstar.tv

Published 03/24 2014 08:20PM

Updated 03/24 2014 08:23PM

RUTLAND, VT-In Rutland, where the growing problem of heroin and opiate addiction remains a big deal.

But this time, state and local leaders are learning how other communities are dealing with it.

Governor Peter Shumlin said Vermont can't pretend that what is being done is working, because it isn't.

So Monday, the Rutland City Police Department, and Project Vision held a training session, where a bit of a different model was discussed.

The approach is called Drug Martketplace Intervention or short, DMI.

"The way we are going to solve our addiction problems in vermont or do a lot better than what we are doing is by listening how other folks are suceeding, and as a community. Adopting the ideas that are good," said Gov. Shumlin.

High Point, North Carolina was the first place to implement the DMI approach sucessfully.

The High Point Police Chief and researchers from another place, Michigan State University talked about how it works to a room full of people.

All with the goal of fighting the state's drug problem

"The dynamics of the market are the same. The drug may change, change the location, but the sales, the purchases, that's the same," said Chief Marty Sumner, High Point Police.

"We are learning from their sucess, and from their mistakes, and we're going to go forward to reduce violence, and to reduce drug martketplaces in our neighborhoods, and bring the neighborhood back under the control of the people who live here," said Captain Scott Tucker, with Rutland City Police.

But local law enforcement said they can't implement the DMI plan on their own. That it's going to take the entire community to set it in motion.

Captain Tucker said they'll need everyone to pool together their resources.

"Anywhere a drug marketplace exists in a particular neighborhood, we're going to reduce that , and get some of the people help, and send them to treatment and the violent ones send them to jail."

Those who took part in the training said this could work, creating a better quality of life in Rutland.

"We're in this together. We're going to spend the money, we're going to have the resources, most importantly, we're going to have the new creative ideas," said Gov. Shumlin.

Rutland Leaders the first step will be to look at the resources they already have to move forward.

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