Giving Compass' Take:
- An online poll from the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union highlights the perspectives of rural Americans regarding opioid use and stigma.
- How have these perspectives changed over time, and how does stigma contribute to the issue?
- Read how the opioid crisis took a toll on rural older adults.
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Rural Americans say they are more aware of, and more willing to talk about, the opioid problem in the nation and their communities than they were five years ago, according to an online poll of rural adults sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union.
Sixty percent said adults are more aware of the crisis than they were five years ago, and 77% said they would comfortable having a conversation about opioids, but 47% said there is stigma or shame associated with opioid abuse in their community.
Rural adults increasingly regard drug addiction as a disease. Asked if addiction to opioids is a disease or is due to a lack of will power or self-control, 57% said it's a disease and 21% said otherwise. In 2017, the numbers were 46% and 26%, respectively. Likewise, 78% said someone can accidentally or unintentionally get addicted to opioids; five years ago, 71% said that.
The poll found that more rural adults than five years ago believe there is a higher rate of opioid misuse in rural communities than in urban and suburban areas), and 48% said they know someone who is or has been addicted to opioids or prescription painkillers.
Read the full article about opioid use in rural areas by Heather Close at The Rural Blog.