A new USDA Rural Development website (https://www.usda.gov/topics/ opioids) hopes to give rural leaders resources, information, and best practices to help their communities respond to and manage the opioid crisis.
According to national farm groups, three-fourths of farmers have directly been impacted by opioid abuse and the National Center for Health estimates more than 30,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2016.
Iowa Director of Rural Development Annette Sweeney also recommends farmtownstrong.org for families struggling with the epidemic.
In January, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue released a rural prosperity task force report (https://www.usda.gov/sites/ default/files/documents/rural- prosperity-report.pdf). Sweeney says the report shows a need for quality of life improvements in rural areas.
Sweeney says, "And we can't have that quality of life and rural prosperity unless we understand some of the situations that are going on with our rural communities. And so it's really hitting upon, let's look at the opioid crisis, let's look at e-connectivity that we want people to be able to continue their lives and even make them better."
Sweeney adds to address the opioid crisis, U.S. Rural Development is available to provide facilities.