Substance Abuse in Rural America
Stimulant abuse (including methamphetamine) among the unemployed in rural America is seven times that of the urban unemployed, according to Substance Abuse in Rural and Small Town America, a report recently released by the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. The report notes that "Rates for meth use were comparable for rural and urban America until 2003, when differences seemed to emerge.” Another trend that emerged is the high rates of alcohol abuse and illicit drug use; this trend is particularly problematic among male youth. The report highlights the critical need for alcohol abuse treatment, especially among youth, and for illicit drug interventions to consider the special circumstances in rural America, such as “wide open space, limited funds, and a tradition of 'taking care of their own.’”
The report’s findings are based on the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), a nationally representative survey sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It is the largest and most inclusive survey about illegal drug use in the United States.