Presentation Title

Opioid Crisis in Rural America


In 2017, the United States Census Bureau found there were 39.7 million people in poverty. Poverty is a known driver of health inequities, including access to optimal health care. In our most underserved American communities, challenges to optimal health care access and delivery include poverty, insurance, access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and very few psychologists in remote rural locales. Additionally, access to behavioral health care is limited by great distances, cost and stigma. In recent years, we have seen that the HIV/AIDS and opioid epidemics have disproportionately affected uninsured, rural communities living in poverty. The gold standard for treating opioid use disorder is a combination of MAT with behavioral therapies. However, the costs of FDA approved medications can vary. A recent NIDA report cites a range of $5,980 a year for buprenorphine, to $14,112 per year for naltrexone. Those providing services in impoverished communities often have to think outside of the box and identify resources that cost very little. This presentation will focus on ways to strengthen integrated care coordination and other support systems (e.g., families, communities), as well as opportunities for accessing free training in effective brief interventions. Additionally, this presentation will provide an overview of ways to obtain cross training on vicarious trauma with law-enforcement, social workers, first responders, psychologists and counselor who work with individuals at the point of initiation to recovery from opioid disorders in order to holistically address these intersecting public health epidemics. Tailoring the interventions to the needs and desires of the communities is most important.