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 help children whose family members are struggling with substance misuse.
Intervention: A year-round program provides mentoring as well as substance use prevention education.
Results: In 2022, Camp Mariposa served a total of 123 youth in its four rural locations in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. In a study, 93% of participants reported no use of any substance to get high.
Need: To provide housing and recovery services for rural Kentuckians dealing with substance use.
Intervention: Recovery Kentucky has 8 rural locations and provides apartments within a congregate living environment and an opportunity to begin recovery from substance use disorder in a structured, peer-led 12-step environment.
Results: The rural and urban centers serve up to 2,200 people annually. An independent university-led resident outcome evaluation showed significant improvements in clients' drug and alcohol use, housing and employment status, decrease in criminal justice improvement, and improved health and mental health.
Need: To reduce the number of overdoses and overdose-related deaths from opioids in rural Pennsylvania.
Intervention: ARMOT provides 1) case management and recovery support services to individuals with substance use disorders and 2) education and support to rural hospital staff, patients, and their loved ones.
Results: Since 2015, ARMOT has received over 2,956 referrals.
Need: To reduce the incidences of repeat drunk driving.
Intervention: Repeat DWI (driving while intoxicated) offenders were given a staggered sentence, allowing them to serve their sentence in segments of time, typically separated by several months to a year. The offender was able to file a motion to request a waiver for the remaining sentence period(s), if able to show that he/she maintained sobriety.
Results: The incidence of recidivism, or crime relapse, has been reduced among offenders given staggered sentences, by comparison to offenders given traditional DWI sentences. The program has also reduced the average cost of jail time that otherwise would have been served from a full sentence.