Guide aims to help rural communities deal with substance abuse

The White House Office of Drug Control Policy and the Department of Agriculture have released a Rural Community Action Guide to help rural places address substance-abuse problems. It includes “promising practices for a range of issues related to drug addiction in rural America and recommended action steps for communities addressing these issues,” the Appalachian Regional Commission says in its weekly “ARC in the Region” email newsletter.

“The guide also includes insight from ARC on the impact addiction has on economic development specifically in Appalachia,” ARC says. “Using this resource, local leaders can learn more about the resources available to help combat the crisis and help change the narrative about substance abuse in rural areas.” ARC says it is following recommendations made by its Substance Abuse Advisory Council, a 24-member volunteer group of leaders from recovery services, health, economic development, private industry, education, state government, law enforcement, and other sectors representing each of the region’s 13 states, addressing the workforce impacts of substance-abuse disorder.
The recommendations included pilot projects to address common recovery-to-work issues; developing best practices “toolkit” to educate employers and human resource experts in recruiting, selecting, managing, and retaining employees who are in recovery; and “assembling a playbook of solutions for communities addressing common ecosystems gaps and services barriers,” ARC says.