The Impact of Addiction in Rural Areas

Rural America Faces a More Intense Addiction Problem

Rural communities across the U.S. are facing a much more intense drug problem than urban areas. Although the drug epidemic is a nation-wide problem, there are more people affected in rural areas of the country compares to those who reside in the city. An increasing number of infants are being born with opioids in their system and the majority of these babies are being born in rural areas of the nation.

So why are more individuals in rural communities more susceptible to addiction? With the rise in unemployment and poverty in rural America, individuals are at a higher risk of resorting to drugs and alcohol. Additionally, for those who do struggling with substance abuse in rural areas, access to treatment and therapy is much more difficult as there simply aren’t as many resources available as there are in the city. This puts these individuals in a tough spot when it comes to accessing the help that they need to get better. In turn, the problem is perpetuated.

Some of the major factors that are contributing to the drug epidemic of today are:

  • Isolation
  • Low employment rate
  • Poverty
  • Inability to access help
  • Low education rate

The Difficulties Faced

Addiction in rural parts of the U.S. is a massive problem and even if these individuals did want to seek help, many of them don’t have insurance to pay for treatment nor do they own a vehicle. Without a means of commuting to local programs such as A.A. and N.A., these individuals are stuck.

What this difficulty proposes is an increase in the amount of drug-related deaths which is a direct result of lack of access to help. The barriers that individuals in rural America are faced with are ones that those who live in urban communities may not completely understand. If an individual is addicted to opioids and then turns to heroin because their prescription was not renewed, there may not be a detox center or drugs such as methadone and buprenorphine available in small towns. This leaves the individual no choice but to continue to use in an effort to suppress any sort of withdrawal symptoms from occurring.

Repercussions of Sustained Drug Abuse

Since these individuals do not have the ability to access the help that they need to get better, they are jeopardizing their health by virtue of their locality. Not only is their health at risk, but they are also at a greater risk for partaking in dangerous activities that can cost them their lives. These individuals can potentially overdose after each time they use as there the resources they have for help are extremely limited. Without proper help, future generations will be exposed to this toxic life and may follow in this path. Not only are drugs a major problem in rural America, but alcohol is also a huge issue in these communities.

The unfortunate reality is that in many isolated parts of America, there are illegal meth labs being operated which only fuel the drug problem being faced today. Without the proper regulation in place, these labs will continue to sell illicit drugs to those in the community.

Individuals in these rural communities need easier access to treatment without having barriers in their way.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5119476/

https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/teds-short-report043-urban-rural-admissions-2012.pdf

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.