Home Public AffairsPolicy Opioid epidemic devastates underserved rural communities

Opioid epidemic devastates underserved rural communities


While only 20% of Americans live in rural communities, the rate of opioid-related deaths in non-metro counties is 45% higher than in metro areas, the result of lacking local health care and longer EMS response times.

The opioid epidemic disproportionately impacts underserved rural communities, which already struggle to provide resources necessary to deal with opioid-related deaths, homelessness, communicable diseases and drug-related crime. Mental health services are entirely absent in most rural areas, creating another barrier to treatment.

NRHA advocates for localized solutions to the opioid epidemic in rural America, including affordable, quality care for rural communities.

Jessica Seigel, Communications Coordinator, The National Rural Health Association (NRHA)

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