A Comprehensive Approach to Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
Adopted September 2021
Description: Substance has been a historically challenging public health issue for the United States and Vermont. The 2018/2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports Vermonters Age 12+ to be in the highest percentage of past year substance use in the country. Within this, Vermonters Age 12+ were found to be higher than the national average in several measures, including past month alcohol use, past month cocaine use, past month marijuana use as well as trying marijuana for the first time.1 Vermonters are exposed to many stressors which pose risk for substance use, with 8% of Vermonters reporting they were unable to pay their mortgage in 2018 and 5% worried they or someone in their home would not have enough food to eat.2 Environmental risk factors have additionally been shown to impact substance use and may uniquely impact Vermonters. For example, social isolation due to geographic location, community cohesion and physical distance when accessing treatment are Vermont-specific factors which must be considered when developing a public health approach.3 Furthermore, it is likely the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated risk factors for substance use among Vermonters.
Policy Statement: The Vermont Public Health Association supports a partnership between public and private organizations to research and uphold a comprehensive system of substance use screening, education, prevention, and intervention with treatment, with a focus on risk factors for substance use.
Supported Actions: VtPHA supports the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as well as other evidence-based practices for decreasing substance use. These actions include:
Education and prevention:
Evidence-based treatment programs:
About the association
VtPHA is a membership organization which facilitates collaboration among people who care about public health and are interested in protecting and promoting the health of Vermont residents.
VtPHA is an Affiliate of the American Public Health Association (APHA). APHA is the national voice of public health and champions the health of all people and all communities. They are the only organization that combines a 140-plus year perspective, the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health and a member community from all public health disciplines and over 40 countries. Learn more at www.apha.org.
Copyright © 2018 Vermont Public Health Association. All rights reserved.