Understanding the rural-urban differences in nonmedical prescription opioid use and abuse in the United States

Katherine M. Keyes, Magdalena Cerda, Joanne E. Brady, Jennifer R. Havens, Sandro Galea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

194 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nonmedical prescription opioid misuse remains a growing public problem in need of action and is concentrated in areas of US states with large rural populations such as Kentucky, West Virginia, Alaska, and Oklahoma. We developed hypotheses regarding the influence of 4 factors: (1) greater opioid prescription in rural areas, creating availability from which illegal markets can arise; (2) an out-migration of young adults; (3) greater rural social and kinship network connections, which may facilitate drug diversion and distribution; and (4) economic stressors that may create vulnerability to drug use more generally. A systematic consideration of the contexts that create differences in availability, access, and preferences is critical to understanding how drug use context varies across geography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume104
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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