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RURAL IMPACT: Nearly three-quarters of farmers and their families have been directly impacted by the opioid crisis, according to a national survey. Reducing the stigma of substance abuse is one step in helping to solve this serious problem.

Raising awareness about rural substance abuse

During Mental Health Month, this week focuses on prevention of substance abuse.

In its third week of marking May as Mental Health Month, the U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers are working to raise awareness about issues with substance abuse and opioids.

In 2017, a survey by the National Farmers Union and the American Farm Bureau Federation found that 74 % of farmers have been directly impacted by the opioid crisis. In the same survey, more than half of rural Americans believe that reducing stigma will be an effective means to solving the opioid crisis in farm country. Learn more at farmtownstrong.org.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rates of drug overdose deaths from opioids have been rising fast in rural areas. Do you know where to go for help? One suggestion is to call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline, which is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral service, available for English and Spanish speakers. Call 1-800-622-HELP.

Many health care professionals believe that naloxone, which is used to treat narcotic overdoses in emergencies, should be part of basic first aid and CPR training. Given that emergency response times in rural America can be dangerously long, learning more about naloxone and developing a workplace naloxone availability and use program could save lives.

A free Agrisafe webinar on May 21 will focus on naloxone availability within the agricultural workplace. Presented by Heather Lyons-Burney, a clinical assistant professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy, the webinar will share information from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to help agricultural employers and workers understand the risk of opioid overdose and the role of naloxone.

By the end of the webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss what medications are prescription and illicit opioids and define Opioid Use Disorder.
  • Describe the dangers of opioids in the workplace and OUD for safety-sensitive occupations.
  • Discuss the role of naloxone in opioid overdose.
  • Discuss the implementation of workplace naloxone use programs.
  • Understand the administration of the dosage forms available for naloxone used in an emergency.

The webinar is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. on May 21. Participants can register for the webinar online.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join.

For questions about the webinar, contact Natalie Roy at nroy@agrisafe.org or Stacey Jenkins at sjenkins@agrisafe.org.

Source: Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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