New data from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration shows that rural communities have the highest death rates nationwide from opioid prescriptions, more than three times the national average.
A previously unreleased database from DEA tracking prescription painkillers showed that the highest per-capita opioid death rates from 2006 to 2012 were in rural communities in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia, with more than three times the national average of 4.6 deaths per 100,000 residents. Thirteen of those counties had an opioid death rate more than eight times the national rate.
AFBF President Zippy Duvall said, “We have seen firsthand the destructive force of opioids in rural communities, and our research shows that three out of four farmers have been impacted. That’s why we stepped up to address this crisis. We stand with the families and communities that have been affected, and we continue the fight against opioid addiction in our partnership with National Farmers Union through our Farm Town Strong campaign. If someone you know is struggling, it’s important for them to know that there is hope.”