MONTPELIER (AP) - Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says heroin and addiction to opium-based drugs had grown into a full-blown crisis in the state.
Shumlin was giving his 2014 state-of-the state speech Wednesday to a joint session of the Vermont House and Senate.
He says the number of people seeing heroin treatment in Vermont has grown 250 percent since 2000 and it's up 40 percent in the last year. In 2013, there were twice as many federal indictments against heroin dealers than in the prior two years and there were nearly twice the number of heroin deaths last year as 2012.
He calls for treating drug addiction "as the immediate health crisis that it is" and asked lawmakers to appropriate money on treatment programs.