Monday, May 23, 2022

Play

Pennsylvania tries to land a regional hydrogen hub, a new study confirms college grads are twice as likely to get good jobs, and a U.S. military plane flies 35 tons of baby formula from Germany to Indianapolis.

Play

Operation Fly Formula's first shipment arrives, worries of global food shortages grow, President Biden is concerned about a monkeypox outbreak, and a poll says Americans support the Title 42 border policy.

Play

From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

Two Epidemics: Rural NC Fights Substance Abuse, COVID-19

Play

Wednesday, December 9, 2020   

MARION, N.C. -- Rural North Carolina is battling two health epidemics - substance abuse and COVID-19 - as treatment centers navigate shutdowns and internet-access challenges to address addiction and mental-health issues.

In McDowell County, Jacqueline Fox heads McDowell Impact, a peer-support specialist network. Her organization is working to place specialists with key agencies that work with people battling addiction and related challenges such as family separation, finding housing and infectious disease. She said building a strong network of resources and educating people is critical to reducing the long-term societal effects of COVID-19.

"In McDowell, we're kind of resource poor," she said. "We have one mental-health provider. And when you're working with people who struggle with substance misuse, you have a small timeframe when they're ready and seeking help. Transportation is always an issue. Medication was always an issue, the cost."

A new report from the North Carolina Division of Public Health found that emergency-room visits related to drug overdose have jumped by 22% compared with last year. The highest rates of overdose occurred in rural counties among the hardest-hit by COVID-19.

Fox added that prolonged social isolation and economic hardship will affect families differently, so treatment centers and social-service agencies will have to work to meet individual needs.

"When you isolate folks and you take away their connection to community, to churches, that's just going to have far-reaching effects," she said. "It's going to have a ripple effect on their life. Maybe they're not able to afford meds, or they are having to seek out those services for food, they become food insecure. So, I don't think there's really one thing that we can pinpoint to focus more on."

Anthony Tyre, a behavioral health counselor and founder of the Eastern Community Care Foundation, said the stigma surrounding mental health and substance use, combined with fear of COVID-19, deters people from seeking help. Also, many rural residents lack reliable home internet and can't have online appointments. So his organization checks on clients at home, in what he called COVID-safe "front-yard visits."

"We're kind of seeing a lot of the kids going through major depression," he said. "A lot of the folks who are living with substance-use disorder and trying to battle that, they're struggling because they're having difficulties getting in to their appointments."

This summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more Americans are experiencing worsening mental health linked to the pandemic, especially among younger adults, people of color, essential workers and unpaid family caregivers.


get more stories like this via email

Ohio teens are 4% less likely to have used drugs in the past month than the average teen in the United States. (Prevention Action Alliance)

Health and Wellness

Around 17% of bachelor's degrees awarded to Black students nationwide come from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and research shows HBCUs boost economic mobility and generational wealth.(Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

One of North Carolina's oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities is finding new ways to help students stay enrolled and graduate. Recent …


Social Issues

A new survey finds 8 in 10 Kentucky parents say afterschool programs could help their child combat social and mental-health struggles by reducing unpr…

Environment

A technology that once existed only in science fiction soon could emerge as a viable solution to climate change. The city of Flagstaff has added …


Environment

Minnesota has more than 10,000 brownfield sites, which are abandoned or idled properties in need of contamination removal. State officials will soon …

Georgetown researchers found that Black American women are the most likely to have to turn to student loans for college, and hold the most student loan debt, compared with their peers. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By age 35, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher are about twice as likely as workers with just a high school diploma to have a good job - one …

Environment

The mayor of Huntington, where more than 200 homes were recently damaged by severe flooding, said now is the state's "one chance" to prevent other …

Social Issues

Alzheimer's disease is one of the leading causes of death in North Dakota, prompting state officials to launch an online dashboard, where the public …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021