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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.

Other Project Examples

Isanti County SafeCab Program
Updated/reviewed October 2019
  • Need: To reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by drunk driving in Isanti County.
  • Intervention: The SafeCab program provides alternative transportation home for bar patrons who would otherwise drive impaired.
  • Results: The program is credited with a significant decrease in DUI (Driving Under the Influence) arrests and the lower average corresponding BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) levels in Isanti County.
Staggered Sentencing for Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders
Updated/reviewed October 2019
  • 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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy MIST: Mothers and Infants Sober Together
Updated/reviewed May 2019
  • Need: To address the needs of pregnant women who are using substances and infants born into drug-positive families.
  • Intervention: The Mothers and Infants Sober Together (MIST) program assisted mothers who used substances get treatment and provide a safe, drug-free home for themselves and their newborn.
  • Results: MIST has helped mothers find treatment and education and has helped children grow up in safe and healthy homes.
School-based Drug Misuse Prevention Program
Added March 2019
  • Need: School-based drug misuse prevention program in Appalachian Ohio, a need triggered by a high school student's overdose death.
  • Intervention: Implementation of the HOPE curriculum, an age-appropriate K through 12th grade drug abuse prevention program.
  • Results: No further drug overdose deaths after curriculum initiated.
Foundations Family Medicine's HIV, HCV, Opioid and Substance Use Disorder Services
Added November 2018
  • Need: Due to the opioid crisis, Austin, Indiana has seen the largest concentrated outbreak of HIV in rural America's recent history. Since 2015, over 200 residents have been diagnosed with the virus.
  • Intervention: Foundations Family Medicine began offering testing and treatment services for HIV, hepatitis C, and opioid/substance use disorder. Education, care coordination and behavioral health services were also offered as an integrated part of their primary care clinic.
  • Results: Although the virus continues to spread throughout Scott County, the rate has significantly decreased, outdoing national suppression rates by a large margin (76% compared to national average of 49%).

Last Updated: 10/21/2019