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Rural America’s Addiction Epidemic

There has been a problem brewing in rural America in recent times and an epidemic of drug and alcohol use is leading to widespread addiction among the masses. People often mistakenly assume that these problems only occur in the cities because of the higher populations and ease of access to substances, but the truth is rural communities are hot spots for consumption and even the production of drugs and alcohol. With some rural areas having higher rates of unemployment, poverty, and education while also being isolated and having less access to medical care, the chances of someone becoming addicted to a substance is far greater than in urban centres.

How Has This Happened?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of rural communities in America that experience tough socio-economic problems that contribute as a whole to this growing epidemic with Heroin and alcohol. With low unemployment and isolation, people can feel very bored and be more inclined to turn to substances to pass the time or ease their stress. This can also lead to poverty and cause an increase in demand for drugs and alcohol. This fuels the problem more if they are becoming easily accessible as rural areas are being used for production due to the smells that the manufacturing process can produce and the increased privacy that these areas offer.
Seeing as though rural areas have only just started to be affected this hard in the last few years, there is a severe lack of drug and alcohol rehab centers and educational programs available. The best drug rehab centers can be incredibly far away while transportation and proper medical care can be very slim so treatment is very hard to obtain. You can imagine just how hard it would be for someone to access drug rehab centers in Florida if they live in a very rural and substance-affected area of the state.


Why There’s A Lack of Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers

With most rural communities being so small, they don’t warrant having their own detox centers to cater to such a thin population. They are also very costly to operate which makes having them in these areas all the more difficult. In addition, a lack of public transportation and unemployment can contribute to the amount of people that will go through the doors of these treatment centers so having them in more urbanized areas makes more sense from a business perspective.
From the best drug rehab centers to the ones servicing smaller areas, they all need qualified staff. There is a dearth of trained doctors and nurses who are trained in treating addiction disorders. If there is a treatment center located in a very small urban area, then getting a qualified professional who is either willing to relocate or commute can be a very challenging task. Even if a center can be established, they may offer a very limited range of services and the people who use the centers may be concerned about their privacy due to them being in a close-knit community where everyone knows each other’s business. Cost of treatment has been a big problem too, and and it can cost a lot of money especially if the treatment is not covered by insurance.

With all of these issues, it’s hard to imagine how these rural areas can get appropriate drug and alcohol rehab centers to service them. It also seems hard to fathom how they could ever have the right amount of treatment centers to service everyone. Sure, there can be drug education programs put in place to reduce the amount of users but at the end of the day, as long as there are drugs and alcohol, there are going to be people consuming them. This is why having more drug and alcohol rehab centers are vital and they need to be coordinated to be placed in areas that can service the general area with appropriate means of access and transportation.

Author Bio : Article submitted by Vikram Tarugu , MD