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Crisis. Epidemic. Tragedy. Opioid stories have been heavy in the headlines and have caught the attention of parents, policymakers, clinicians, first-responders, and so-on. Unlike some other epidemics, rural areas have been particularly affected by the rising rates of opioid prescriptions, and more specifically, opioid misuse.[1] There is urgency to address this public health issue that is impacting all demographics–families and communities across the country, and especially agricultural communities. To drive that last point home: overdose rates in rural America surpassed urban areas, with as many as 74% of farmers impacted by the crisis.[2] Recently, this epidemic has been well-documented. We are regularly reminded that there is a problem, but next steps have been less clear.

[1] “Opioid Misuse in Rural America | USDA.” n.d. Accessed July 10, 2018. https://www.usda.gov/topics/opioids.

[2] “Opioid Misuse in Rural America | USDA.” n.d. Accessed July 10, 2018. https://www.usda.gov/topics/opioids.

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