VOLUME 10 - 2017-2018 ISSUE 3
10 Ky. J. Equine, Agric. & Nat. Resources L. 257 (2018).
THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC AND RURAL AMERICA: WHY THE USDA SHOULD LEAD THE RESPONSE
Note Written by: Lexy Gross
An epidemic deadlier than the American HIV/AIDS crisis is obliterating families and communities in rural states. Increasingly over the last decade, opioid overdoses have tormented small towns and sparsely populated regions of the country. Although metropolitan areas historically have higher rates of drug overdose deaths, rural America now surpasses cities in this statistic. Studies show that farmers and agricultural workers are disparately impacted by this crisis. As the opioid epidemic continues to decimate farm communities and small towns, a perhaps-unexpected federal agency has crept into the federal effort: the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).