The Deepening Opioid Crisis in Rural America

The Deepening Opioid Crisis in Rural America

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The stats are well known.

America is in the midst of a crisis of opioid drug addiction and deadly overdoses.

The current annual death rate from drug overdoses stands at 62,000. That’s a 19% increase from 2015 – much of it driven by opioid deaths.

And incredibly – physicians in the U.S. continue to write approximately

100 million prescriptions

for opioid drugs annually.


We continue to ask that question.

So how’s this crisis affecting rural America?

If you live in rural communities, chances are good this crisis has impacted people you know.   And not only do those living in rural areas face long drives and scarce treatment resources, 60% of rural communities lack even a single physician trained and certified to administer buprenorphine, a common and life-saving medication-assisted treatment.

Why aren’t more physicians trained, certified and delivering medication- assisted treatment?

According to a new survey of physicians published in the Annals of Family Medicine, non-prescribers were more likely to cite concerns about the potential misuse of medication, the lack of addiction recovery support and “time constraints” as reasons they have not incorporated buprenorphine into their practices.

The study also noted that 52 percent of physicians who are former prescribers voiced concerns about attracting drug users to their practices as a reason they no longer offer the service. Only 23 percent of current prescribers expressed that worry.

Since so many physicians in the study lamented the lack of other support services for addicts as a barrier to providing buprenorphine treatment to patients, policy changes that improve the support system may be a way forward.

If you are struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and need help in Connecticut or New Hampshire, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of care is giving clients a 6X better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care.  To learn more or to talk to one of our Recovery Specialists, visit