ONDCP Releases Guide to Build Healthy Drug-Free Rural Communities

On January 31, 2020, the Trump the Administration released a new tool to assist rural community leaders in building an effective local response to the crisis of addiction, the Rural Community Action Guide: Building Stronger, Healthy Drug-Free Rural Communities.  The Guide was developed by the Office of the National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

The purpose of the Guide is to arm rural leaders with information they can put into immediate action to create change. It provides background information, recommended action steps, and promising practices to help manage the impact of substance use disorder on local communities and help persons with the disease of addiction. The topics are based on lessons learned from Department of Agriculture rural roundtable discussions held in over a dozen states, as well as the experiences of several rural stakeholder partners.

At the launch, ONDCP Director, Jim Carroll was joined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services leadership: the Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams; Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistance Secretary for Health; Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, Assistance Secretary, SAMHSA; and, Brian LeClair, Deputy Administrator, HRSA.

A diversity of partners (rural and urban) contributed to the work and attended the event including: Addiction Policy Forum, American Farm Bureau Federation,  Appalachian Regional Commission, Center for Court Innovation, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Faces & Voices of Recovery,  Housing Assistance Council, National Alliance for Recovery Residences, National Association of Counties, National Association of Development Organizations, National Farmers Union, National Rural Health Association, National Sheriff’s Association, NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, NTCA- The Rural Broadband Association, National Rural Transit Assistance Program, Pew Charitable Trusts, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships).

The guide complements both the Community Assessment Tool, which gives county specific data about deaths and factors which may make a community more vulnerable to addiction, and the Federal Rural Resources Guide, which includes comprehensive information about different federal funds for rural communities impacted by addiction.  The Guide also has a companion supplement, a listing of promising practices which you can find here: Rural Community Action Guide: Promising Practices.

ONDCP will be holding a series of rural roundtables to discuss the Guide.  The first one will be held in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on February 19, 2020.