Opioid misuse concerns growing in rural areas

A recent survey finds while more rural residents are aware of the opioid crisis, the rate of misuse appears to be increasing.

American Farm Bureau Federation’s Jessica Cabrera tells Brownfield nearly half of respondents said they know someone who is or has been addicted to opioids or prescription painkillers.

“We also saw that compared to five years ago, a higher percentage of rural adults say opioid misuse is a larger problem in their community than it is in urban or suburban areas,” she shares.

Access to opioids has declined somewhat with 40 percent of adults saying it’s easy for someone in their community to access a large number of prescription opioids, down six percent from 2017.

Cabrera says a partnership with the National Farmers Union will continue to address the need for more awareness and mental health support in rural areas.

“It’s really hard to have a conversation about mental health and about substance misuse, but it’s vital that we continue to have these conversations to maintain the vibrancy of our rural communities,” she says.

A link to more resources can be found here.

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