Substance Abuse

The misuse and abuse of alcohol, over-the-counter medications, illicit drugs, and tobacco affect the health and wellbeing of millions of Americans. Learn what you can do if you or someone close needs help.

Alcohol Abuse

Young adults in Vermont have a perception problem when it comes to how much alcohol is safe to drink. Half (51%) of Vermonters, ages 18 to 25, are binge drinkers. One-quarter (24%) of those young adults – far lower than the national average of 34 percent – think there is any health risk involved with drinking five or more drinks at a sitting twice a week.

High risk drinking is an ongoing problem in Vermont, especially among young adults (age 18-25). Fifty-five percent reported drinking 5 or more drinks on a single occasion in the past 30 days, and 27 percent reported little to no perception that it was harmful, according to the 2014 Young Adult Survey.


The Vermont Department of Health encourages everyone who drinks alcohol, young adults and older, to assess how much they drink as a preventative health measure, similar to having your blood pressure or cholesterol level checked.

Unsafe drinking can lead to cancer, liver disease and higher risk for heart attack and stroke. Serious injuries from motor vehicle crashes, intimate partner violence, and child mistreatment and neglect can also result from alcohol abuse.

Up to one drink per day for women, and up to two drinks per day for men is considered moderate, or safe drinking.

Source: Vermont Department of Health

Get Screened for Alcohol Consumption


Vermonters can check their drinking patterns as "safe, risky, or harmful" using a quick, confidential online screener at: or by calling 1-800-639-6095.

For more information on “How much you are really drinking?” visit:

Screening is a preventative measure for any adult, like getting a regular blood pressure or cholesterol check.

Addiction Counseling

Addiction counselors are available at many of CVMC's medical group practices through the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program. SBIRT is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for patients at risk of developing substance use disorders. Learn more about SBIRT at CVMC.

Addiction Resources

Alcohol Addiction Center:
Alcoholics Anonymous:
Cocaine Anonymous:
Intoximiters Drink Wheel:
Narcotics Anonymous:
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism:
National Institute on Drug Abuse: