Ag News

USDA launches opioid resource page

The USDA has launched a new web page,,  featuring resources to help rural communities respond to the opioid crisis, according to a USDA press release.

USDA Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett said the web page will help rural leaders build a response that is tailored to meet the needs of their community.

The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that more than 63,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016. More than half of those deaths involved opioids, including prescription drugs and heroin. The opioid resource web page includes information on grants available to communities to combat the misuse of opioids and other drugs.

In April 2017, President Donald Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue presented the task force’s findings, including 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments.

The task force recommended to modernize health care access. The report highlighted the importance of telemedicine in enhancing access to primary care and specialty providers. The task force also found that improved access to mental and behavioral health care, particularly prevention, treatment and recovery resources, is vital to addressing the opioid crisis and other substance misuse in rural communities. To view the report in its entirety, please visit