Substance Use and Misuse in Rural Areas – Models and Innovations
These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve
as a source of ideas and provide lessons others have learned. Some of the projects
or programs may no longer be active. Read about the
criteria and evidence-base for programs included.
Need: To promote mental health and prevent substance use disorders in rural Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska.
Intervention: Coast to Forest strengthens local capacity through training, education, and community partnerships.
Results: In its three years of operation, the project has trained over 500 individuals across the Pacific Northwest in Mental Health First Aid, developed 36 county-level resource guides, organized a series of Community Conversations in three rural Oregon counties, and more.
Need: To address high rates of substance use in Princeton, Illinois and the surrounding area.
Intervention: The Arukah Institute, a local nonprofit organization providing mental health services, adapted a statewide model to provide support and a safe space for people in need of substance use resources.
Results: The Living Room program had 1,485 visits in its first year, with 100% of clients served by recovery support specialists.
Need: To support pregnant and parenting women with a history of substance use, mental health, or co-occurring disorders in rural areas of Montana.
Intervention: One Health, a consortium of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), developed a team of "recovery doulas" – individuals who are dual-certified as doulas and peer-support specialists. The One Health recovery doula program offers group and individual services to women and their partners from pregnancy through the first years of parenthood.
Results: A team of nine recovery doulas (or doulas-in-training) employed by One Health offer services in ten rural Montana counties. Recovery doulas have provided essential support to women with substance use disorder, survivors of sexual abuse, unhoused individuals, and individuals facing other complex challenges.