Few economic opportunities, poor health outcomes, and higher death rates (both natural and self-inflicted). It is difficult to overstate the severity of the crisis facing rural America.
America's GDP is shifting from small-town America to the cities, and at the same time the opioid overdose epidemic has hit rural states, like Kentucky and West Virginia, especially hard. As a result, from 1999 to 2015 suicides in rural America have increased over 40%, according to the CDC.
Maternal opioid use is growing nationally. A new study reflects this, its impact on babies and regional disparities. As a result, babies are suffering withdrawal at alarming rates. Our directives must address the symbiotic relationships that perpetuate the current and intergenerational struggles of families.