Rural communities face greater transportation
urban communities, including fewer public transportation options, which can make finding
transportation services a
difficult process. Due to shortages
of behavioral health
providers and facilities in rural areas, patients often travel great distances, often to neighboring
counties, to access services. A
Yale School of Medicine study found that individuals residing in rural counties experience longer
transportation time to opioid treatment programs than residents in urban counties.
Travel time to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment may have serious implications for treatment and
recovery. Research shows that shorter
travel distances are associated with longer stays in treatment programs and greater completion
rates. Additionally, people who need to seek care may not have a driver's license or may not be able
to transport themselves to treatment. Transportation
services may help support rural SUD treatment programs.
For additional information about providing transportation services in rural communities, see the
Rural Transportation Toolkit.