Note: The following is based on a story published in The Buzz, a publication of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA)
Recently, news stories have focused on how addiction is ravaging families and communities, particularly in rural areas.
Around one in five Americans lives in a rural area, defined as a community with fewer than 2,500 people. Rural and urban communities both face the challenges of substance use, overdose, and the opioid epidemic. Although substance use rates in rural areas have kept pace with those in urban areas, rural communities seem to have been hit harder. For example, a recent statistic shows a greater increase in the proportion of babies born addicted to opioids in rural communities than in urban areas.
Why do rural communities seem to be disproportionately affected by addiction?
Rural communities have been especially affected in the past few years by rising rates of poverty...