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Rural Health
Resources by Topic: Prescription drug misuse

Telemedicine Increases Access to Buprenorphine Initiation During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Discusses the expanded access to buprenorphine prescription through telemedicine during COVID-19, comparing the experiences of two harm reduction primary care programs in a rural and urban region of New York. Discusses reduced barriers to treatment, particularly delays due to in-person evaluation requirements before to the pandemic, and innovations to Opioid Use Disorder treatment made possible through telehealth.
Author(s): Linda Wang, Jeffrey Weiss, Elizabeth Bogel Ryan, et al.
Citation: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 124, 108272
Date: 05/2021
Type: Document
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Rural and Urban Experiences with EMS Overdose Treatment
Results of a survey of 90 urban and rural emergency medical service (EMS) providers practicing in Indiana during the period from November 2020 to March 2021, to determine how many training hours they receive and how comfortable they are with treating opioid overdoses and general drug overdoses. Features survey responses with breakdowns by urban and rural location. Poster presented at the 2021 RTT Collaborative Annual Meeting.
Author(s): Brycen Ratcliffe, Robin Danek, Ellen Ireland, Eric Reyes
Date: 04/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Indiana University School of Medicine
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Guide for Future Directions for the Addiction and OUD Treatment Ecosystem
Details strategies for addressing the opioid use epidemic and improving the current addiction treatment ecosystem. Breaks down the strategies by capacity, competency, consistency, and compensation. Discusses some of the barriers to treating opioid use disorder in rural areas.
Author(s): R. Corey Waller, Kelly J. Clark, Alex Woodruff, et al.
Date: 04/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Academy of Medicine
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The Opioid Epidemic: A Geography in Two Phases
Research report examining population and geographic data on two phases of the U.S. opioid epidemic. Examines the association between overdose deaths and chronic pain, physical disability rates, and economic hardship. Discusses the shift from overdose mortality associated with prescription opioids to illicit and synthetic opioids in the early 2010s, including in rural areas and the Northeastern U.S.
Additional links: Report summary
Author(s): David A. McGranahan, Timothy S. Parker
Date: 04/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Addressing Opioid-Related Outcomes Among Individuals With Co-Occurring Behavioral Health Conditions: An Environmental Scan of Quality Measures
Presents the results of an environmental scan of healthcare quality measures relevant to addressing polysubstance use among individuals with co-occurring behavioral health conditions. Includes information on access to buprenorphine providers in rural communities.
Date: 04/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Quality Forum
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SAMHSA: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Guidance and resources to help providers respond to COVID-19 while providing care and treatment of mental and substance use disorders. Includes guidance specific to opioid treatment programs.
Date: 04/2021
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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An Examination of Telehealth Policy Impacts on Initial Rural Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Patterns During the COVID‐19 Pandemic
Explores changes in the patterns of medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) in western North Carolina during the COVID-19 pandemic. Examines the impact of telehealth policy changes during the pandemic on the patient population seen for MOUD, access to MOUD services for rural patients, overall MOUD clinic volume, and changes to the provision of MOUD.
Author(s): Phillip M. Hughes, Genevieve Verrastro, Carriedelle Wilson Fusco, Courtenay Gilmore Wilson, Bayla Ostrach
Citation: Journal of Rural Health
Date: 03/2021
Type: Document
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Urban–Rural Differences in Drug Overdose Death Rates, 1999–2019
Examines age-adjusted drug overdose deaths in urban and rural counties. Includes urban-rural data on overdose deaths overall and for selected types of opioids and stimulants from 1999 through 2019. Identifies states with higher overdose deaths in rural counties, higher rates in urban counties, and states with no significant difference between rural and urban overdose death rates.
Author(s): Holly Hedegaard, Merianne Rose Spencer
Date: 03/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Center for Health Statistics
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Opioid and Substance Use Strategies for Critical Access Hospitals
Recording of a February 26, 2021, webinar discussing the role of Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in addressing opioid and substance use disorders (O/SUDs) in local systems of care. Provides a framework to support CAH opioid and substance use initiatives. Highlights examples of O/SUD activities taken by CAHs and offers lessons learned.
Additional links: Presentation Slides
Date: 02/2021
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Flex Monitoring Team
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Projected Estimates of Opioid Mortality After Community-Level Interventions
Presents a study on the effectiveness of different evidence-based practices to prevent opioid overdose mortality in simulated rural and urban communities. Highlights data by evidence-based practice and by projected rural and urban population group, which is broken down by age, sex, and opioid injection versus non-injection.
Author(s): Benjamin P. Linas, Alexandra Savinkina, R. W. M. A. Madushani, et al.
Citation: JAMA Network Open, 4(2), e2037259
Date: 02/2021
Type: Document
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