White House releases action guide for addiction response in rural communities

The federal government moved to buoy rural communities’ efforts to address drug addiction last week with the release of the Rural Community Action Guide — an information package of background, recommendations and promising practices related to drug addiction.

The tool is meant to be used by community leaders looking to build an effective response in their area. It works in conjunction with the previously released Community Assessment Tool — county specific data about deaths and those factors which may make communities more vulnerable in terms of addiction — and the Federal Rural Resources Guide — a report filled with information on different federal funds set up for rural communities struggling with addiction.

“Families and communities in rural America have been hard hit by the crisis of addiction, and face unique challenges in developing effective responses to this disease,” Jim Carroll, U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy director, said. “The Rural Community Action Guide empowers local leaders to meet these challenges head on with recommended action steps and best practices for local solutions that will create real change.”

The action guide draws from rural roundtable discussions conducted in more than a dozen states and experiences of various rural stakeholders, with partner input from such sources as the Addiction Policy Forum, American Farm Bureau Federation, Faces & Voices of Recovery, Housing Assistance Council, National Rural Health Association and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

“The crisis of addiction has impacted thousands of families across rural America and has taken a monumental toll on countless communities,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “USDA continues to partner with community leaders to address this epidemic and encourage individuals to utilize the action steps and recommended practices included in the Rural Community Action Guide.”

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