in Rural America
The United States is experiencing an epidemic of drug overdose deaths.
In 2018, fewer Americans died of drug overdoses (67,367 deaths) than the year before (70,237 deaths) for the first time in more than 20 years. The drug overdose death rate was lower in 2018 than in 2017 for 15 states. This news is a source of encouragement but there are still far too many Americans dying from drug overdoses and not all states are seeing decreases. We must continue our efforts in all aspects of our fight against substance use disorder and the opioid epidemic.
An interactive data tool that empowers community leaders to assess the causes and impact of opioid misuse in their community.
Use the Tool
A listing of Federal programs that can be used to build resilient communities and address opioid misuse in rural communities.
Download the Guide (PDF, 1.7 MB)
The Rural Community Action Guide includes background information, recommended action steps from a diversity of stakeholders, and promising practices for a wide range of issues related to drug addiction in rural America.
Download the Rural Community Action Guide (PDF, 4.2 MB)
The practices described in this supplement have been built and launched by State and local leaders across the country. These activities were identified as promising practices to showcase because they are something that another community can replicate or use to inspire their own action.
Download the Rural Community Action Guide: Promising Practices (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Committed to Being a Strong Partner
In October 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the rates of drug overdose deaths are rising in rural areas, surpassing rates in urban areas. In addition, a December 2017 survey by the National Farmers Union and the American Farm Bureau Federation found that as many as 74 percent of farmers have been directly impacted by the opioid crisis.
Under the leadership of President Donald J. Trump, USDA is approaching the opioid crisis with a dedicated urgency. The opioid epidemic is devastating to its victims and their families. It has a compounding ripple effect throughout communities, affecting quality of life, economic opportunity, and rural prosperity. No corner of our country has gone untouched by the opioid crisis, but the impact of this issue on small towns and rural places has been particularly significant.
USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities on a number of fronts:
- Through program resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery opportunities for those in need. See the many ways your community can partner with USDA (PDF, 528 KB) to meet immediate needs in this fight.
- Through program resources to help rural communities address many of the deeper, systemic, and long-term issues making these places vulnerable to the opioid crisis in the first place. Our infographic illustrates (PDF, 4.8 MB) how USDA can help rural communities respond to the opioid epidemic by addressing some of the root causes.
- Through the creation of essential tools for rural leaders to use to understand the impact and cause(s) of the crisis in their community; and tools to understand what federal resources are available to help support grassroots strategies to address this crisis.
- Council of Economic Advisers Report: the Underestimated Cost of the Opioid Crisis
- Factsheet: President Donald J. Trump is Taking Action on Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis
- Factsheet: The Crisis Next Door: President Donald J. Trump is Confronting an Opioid Crisis More Severe Than Original Expectations
- President Donald J. Trump is Combatting the Opioid Crisis
- Remarks by First Lady Melania Trump on Combatting Drug Demand and the Opioid Crisis
- Remarks by President Trump on Combatting Drug Demand and the Opioid Crisis
- Statement by the Press Secretary on the Final Report of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis
- VIDEO: The Crisis Next Door, Stories of the Opioid Epidemic
- About the U.S. Opioid Epidemic
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Opioid Overdose Information
- Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA): Help, Resources and Information National Opioids Crisis
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- SAMHSA Resources (PDF, 172 KB)
- SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
- 20 Seconds of Courage; Fighting Opioid Addiction in Rural Ohio
- Assistant to the Secretary Anne Hazlett Statement on Stop Youth Opioid Abuse Campaign (Press Release)
- Broadband and the Opioid Epidemic: The Power of Connection in Rural America (Op-ed)
- USDA Hosts Opioid Roundtable in Berea (WKYT – Kentucky)
- Stateline by Pew Charitable Trusts: In Rural Areas Hard Hit by Opioids a New Source of Hope
- Assistant to the Secretary Anne Hazlett Statement on Prescribed to Death Opioid Memorial
- ‘We’re Dying’: Feds Hear from Utahns Fighting on the Frontline of the State’s Rural Opioids Crisis (Salt Lake Tribune)
- USDA Prioritizes Investments to Address Opioid Crisis in Rural America
- Farm Groups Launch ‘Farm Town Strong’ Campaign to Address Rural Opioid Epidemic
- ‘This is an Issue of Rural Prosperity’: Nevada Roundtable Spotlights Opioid Epidemic in Small Communities
- RFD-TV’s Rural America Live: The Rural Opioid Crisis
- Special Opioid Issue Roundtables Being Set up in Rural Areas
- Actuality: Wide Range Impacts of Rural Opioid Misuse
- Johnson, Duvall, Hazlett: End Stigma of Opioid Abuse
- Anne Hazlett Guest Blog: Standing Tall Together Against Opioid Misuse
- USDA Launches Webpage Highlighting Resources to Help Rural Communities Address the Opioid Crisis
- OpEd: Rural America and the Opioid Epidemic: A Call for Partnership
- AFBF Annual Convention Panel Discussion
- IndyStar: Agricultural leaders search for solutions to rural opioid crisis, problem that has come on 'so fast'
- Hoosier Ag Today: USDA Rural Development Offers Opioid Epidemic Resources
- AgriPulse Article: USDA doing its part in opioid crisis, Hazlett says
- Addiction Policy Forum (APF)
- Addiction Technology Transfer Centers
- Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
- Farm Town Strong
- Indiana University
- NACo and NLC Opioid Hub
- National Association of Counties
- National Rural Health Association
- National Sherriff’s Association (NSA)
- North Central Regional Center for Rural Development Webinars (NCRCRD)
- Operation UNITE
- Providers Clinical Support System
- Rural Heath Information Hub
- State Targeted Response Technical Assistance
State Government Resources