Drug arrests are being seen all across Vermont. Milton Police seized about 10,000 bags of heroin containing fentanyl in early May, and similar cases were reported in Washington County and Burlington in recent months.

Turning Point Center Executive Director Cam Lauf said he typically sees fewer cases during the summer. But this year, things are different. He believes the pandemic is partly to blame.

“It’s really the isolation,” Lauf says. Treatment can help, he says.

“They can come in feeling connected, feeling understood which can plant a seed of hope for people,” Lauf says. ” [It can] provide them a sense of belonging, meaning and opportunity to grow and change.”

Lauf knows the importance of being there for others. He started as a volunteer at the Turning Point Center where he began his own road to recovery.

“I fell in love with being able to share a space with people that all have the understanding that they can emphasize where I’m at with my recovery,” Lauf says. “It was a way where I could connect with others where I couldn’t previously.”

Lauf says addiction happens very gradually and can go undetected.

“One of the ways I looked at it was being in a rip tide and being pulled out at sea,” Lauf says. “You want to go swimming and have fun but then it traps you.”

He tells those who are battling to never give up.

“If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. If you can’t crawl, do whatever it takes to keep moving forward.”