Human Capital: Cambridge, VT The Opiate Crisis

Human capital is the education, experiences, health, and skills of an individual or a community. Indicators of human capital in Cambridge compared to the national averages show that Cambridge has fairly robust human capital. Only 9.8% of Cambridge residents are uninsured, compared to the national average of 14.2%, and 49.3% of the residents that are 25 years old or older have a college degree (associate’s, bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree), while the national average is 37.2% (American Fact Finder).

These statistics do not tell the whole story of human capital in the area. Like much of Vermont, Cambridge has been impacted by the opiate crisis. Opiate use leads to a depreciation of human capital. The users are often unable to work, and it impacts how individuals in the community that do not use opiates are able to work, and go about their daily lives.

One example of the impacts of opiate use in Lamoille county is the story of Eric Breyette who went back to jail in 2014 for drug use (Gardener, 2014). Not only is he unable to work, but he has a young son, who will be without a father when he is in jail. Studies show many negative impacts of growing up without a father, including aggression, low self-esteem, and emotional distress all of which negatively impact human capital (Guertin, 2016). In addition the increased levels of crime associated with drug use are just another way opiate use drains human capital (Gardener, 2014).There are many groups working on the opiate problem in Lamoille county, including Lamoille Valley Behavioral Health and Wellness, and Lamoille Valley Medication Assisted Treatment (Addiction Help Vermont, 2016). These groups help to provide treatment for addicts, in the hopes that they may be able to recover and reintegrate with the community. 

References:

Addiction Help Vermont. (2016). Lamoille County Resources. Addiction Help Vermont. http://addictionhelpvt.com/treatment/medication-assisted-treatmentmat/lamoilee-county-treatment/

American Fact Finder. (2016). Health Insurance Coverage Status. United Sates Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_14_5YR_S2701&prodType=table

American Fact Finder. (2016). Educational Attainment. United Sates Census Bureau.

http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_14_5YR_S1501&prodType=table

Duertin, Amy. (2016). The Effect on Mean That Grow Up Without a Father Figure. Our Everyday Life. http://oureverydaylife.com/effect-men-grow-up-father-figure-43045.html

Tommy Gardener. (February 17th, 2014). In Lamoille County, Doing Time for Doing Drugs. VT Digger. http://vtdigger.org/2014/02/17/lamoille-county-time-drugs/

Tommy Gardner. (January 5th, 2014). Lamoille County’s Rural Opiate Problem Is Driving Drime. VT Digger. http://vtdigger.org/2014/01/05/lamoille-countys-rural-opiate-problem-driving-crime/