Rural Adolescents Are More Likely Than Their Urban Peers to Abuse Prescription Painkillers

October 22, 2015

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Summary

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U.S. media and popular culture historically portrayed drug abuse as an urban problem, but in recent years, there has been more media attention on rural drug issues. Part of this growing attention pertains to the growing epidemic of narcotic painkiller abuse in rural America. Although all areas of the country experienced increases in painkiller prescribing, abuse, and mortality over the past two decades, the increases have been most pronounced in small towns and rural areas.1 This rural drug epidemic requires immediate attention from policy makers and practitioners.