- Associated Press - Thursday, January 5, 2017

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont’s new governor says the opiate addiction crisis is one of the most significant challenges facing the state.

In his inaugural address, Republican Gov. Phil Scott says opiate addiction touches nearly every Vermont family and for too long it has stolen the lives of those “suffering from addiction and any sense of peace from those of us who love them.”

Scott says he’s going to establish a director of Drug Abuse Prevention, an Opioid Coordination Council, and convene a state convention on drug abuse prevention this year.

Scott also praised his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin, for recognizing the magnitude of the crisis.

Scott says how the state responds to the challenge will be remembered long after the service of current leaders has ended.

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