November 1, 2018
While Utah has experienced a drop in opioid-related overdose deaths, the rate of overdose deaths across America continues to rise.
What may be surprising is where in America those rates occur. Long perceived as an urban issue, rural communities are now experiencing overdose deaths at a higher rate than their urban neighbors.*
Civil Eats, a daily news source for critical thought about the American food systems, addresses the farm communities that are especially hard hit by the opioid addiction. In their recent article, Reckoning with Opioids in Farm Country, Randy Parker, Utah State Director for USDA Rural Development is featured for his work on tackling the opioid issue in rural Utah. Attorney General Sean Reyes is also highlighted for his work in the creation of a rural opioid task force, which Parker chairs, to focus efforts on providing prevention, treatment, and recovery for those who live in rural areas.
Here’s a look at a couple opioid roundtables in rural Utah.
- The Spectrum: A candid discussion about opioids in Washington County
- Sanpete Messenger: Opioid crisis boils down to social connections, Sanpete officials decide
You can learn more about opioid misuse in Rural America here and see how the USDA is responding in the following video (courtesy of USDA.gov).
*CDC Reports Rising Rates of Drug Overdose Deaths in Rural Areas
Photo by Timothy Eberly