25% of rural Americans say opioid addiction is most serious problem in their community

A recent survey found that opioid or other drug abuse was one of the most serious problems in rural communities, according to a study published Jan. 8 in JAMA Network Open. 

The study analyzed responses from a phone survey of 1,300 adults conducted June 6 to Aug. 4, 2018, and another phone survey of 1,405 adults Jan. 31 to March 2, 2019. Respondents primarily identified as non-Hispanic white (78 percent) and more than half were 50 years or older.  

One quarter (25 percent) of rural adults said opioid or other drug addiction or abuse was the most serious problem in their local community, followed by economic concerns (21 percent). Fifty-seven percent of rural adults identified drug addiction as a serious problem in their community, and 49 percent said they personally knew someone with an opioid addiction.  

Researchers suggested that opioid or other drug addiction is as problematic as economic concerns for rural Americans. Although traditionally self-reliant, more than half of adults in rural communities are open to outside or government assistance to solve serious problems, the study found.

More articles on opioids:
5 most commonly prescribed opioids at emergency department discharge
Minnesota opioid prescriptions plummet; providers may soon be penalized for overprescribing
Limiting opioids in ERs can leave some sickle cells patients in pain

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