Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a field hearing on opiate addiction in Rutland on March 17.
The hearing, “Community Solutions To Breaking The Cycle Of Heroin And Opioid Addiction,” will feature testimony from law enforcement and public health officials.
Leahy has held three previous committee hearings on drug abuse in Barre, St. Albans and Rutland.
The public event on the 17th is designed to support Gov. Peter Shumlin’s efforts to curb opiate abuse.
“This is a continuing process of examining facts, distilling solutions, and then continually adapting and refining them,” Leahy said in a statement. “Heroin addiction ravages individual lives, families and communities, and it generates crime. It kindles localized destruction, but its roots and effects also extend beyond our borders. It is a local problem with regional echoes and national implications. In Vermont we are proactive. We call all hands to the deck. We need to keep evaluating to identify what works and what does not. Other communities and other states can learn from us, and we can learn from their experiences.”
The witnesses for the hearing will be: Tristram Coffin, U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont; Chief James Baker of the Rutland City Police Department; Dr. Harry Chen, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Health; Mary Alice McKenzie, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Burlington; and Col. Tom L’Esperance, director of the Vermont State Police.
The hearing will be held at 1 p.m. March 17 in the Franklin Conference Center at the Howe Center, 1 Scale Ave., Rutland.
Vermonters are invited to submit written statements (up to 10 pages) via email by March 21. The email address is: [email protected]