White House drug office releases toolbox to fight rural drug addiction
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) on Wednesday launched the Rural Community Toolbox, an online clearinghouse created to connect rural leaders with funding, data, and information to combat drug addiction in rural America.
In a news release, ONDCP said, “With resources from 16 different federal departments and agencies, the Rural Community Toolbox is a one-stop shop for those seeking help in building strong healthy, and drug-free rural communities.”
“In addition to funding and technical assistance, the RCTB includes current information resources on over 40 key topics related to addiction in rural America as well as federal resources about treatment and recovery support for individuals who have been impacted by substance use disorders.”
The website includes an update of the Community Assessment Tool, an interactive data resource that provides rural leaders with county-level data about drug overdose deaths as well as some of the socioeconomic factors that may be driving local trends in substance use such as education and unemployment.
The website will also house the Rural Community Action Guide, a compendium detailing promising practices and effective responses to the drug crisis issued in January of this year.
ONDCP Director Jim Carroll joined Assistant to the President and Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway and representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), along with local officials in the launch.
“In my travels throughout rural America, I have seen firsthand that not only have rural communities been hard hit by addiction, but there are significant gaps in many rural areas in the resources needed to build strong healthy, and drug-free communities,” Carroll stated. “With tools like the Rural Community Toolbox, the Trump administration is committed to being a strong partner to rural leaders by applying a whole-of-government approach in this battle to save lives.”
“A healthy community has a stronger workforce, higher quality of life, and experiences the benefits of economic vitality,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities building healthier and happier futures because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
–The Hagstrom Report
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the Oct. 23, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News