Considerations for Farmers
In 2017, a survey found that 74% of
farmers and farmworkers
reported that they have been affected by opioid use either through personal use or a family
member or friend's use. Multiple
factors, including finances, weather, and the socially isolating nature of the job, can
contribute to farmers' poor mental health, which in turn can lead to substance use disorders (SUDs).
In farming communities, the stigma
with seeking treatment for substance use is particularly prevalent and prevents farmers from getting
the help they need. Rural SUD treatment and prevention programs seeking to help farmers should
consider social factors that impact their behavioral health and access to care.
The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union have developed five
action steps to address farmers' opioid use. The action steps include:
Help people in treatment or recovery and participate in initiatives that promote treatment and
Advocate for insurance that will cover SUD treatment and recovery services.
Train and educate farming communities about SUD and available resources.
Partner with state, regional, and local governments to apply for funding and provide SUD services.
Use farm-specific resources, like Extension offices, to educate the community about SUDs.
For additional information about how to address farmers' mental health visit, RHIhub's Rural
Response to Farmer Mental Health
and Suicide Prevention issue guide.
Resources to Learn More
American Farm Bureau Federation Polling Presentation
Presents the key points from an online survey of 2,201 rural adults on their general attitudes and
perceptions of addiction, experiences with opioid addiction, effective interventions and
communication leading to addiction recovery.
Organization(s): Morning Consult, American Farm Bureau Federation