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Vermont's Largest Hospital Seeing More Overdoses

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Officials at Vermont's largest hospital say the number of overdoses of heroin and other opiate drugs being treated in the emergency department has gone from about 40 cases a month three years ago to 60 this past August.

Fletcher Allen Health Care reports that in the year ending Sept. 30 Naloxone was used 625 times.

Emergency Department Care Coordinator Kathy Karg Gutierrez tells the Burlington Free Press the numbers are "definitely getting worse."

The Burlington hospital says the numbers fluctuate, but the trend is up.

Gutierrez says most overdose victims who reach the emergency room can be saved. She calls fatal overdoses "pretty rare."

Late last year the Vermont Health Department began distributing Naloxone kits to addicts, their friends and family members. More emergency responders also began carrying the drug.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.