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In Rural Areas Without Pain Or Addiction Specialists, Family Doctors Fill In The Gaps - NPR

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

Video from NPR

In Rural Areas Without Pain Or Addiction Specialists

"In many ways, rural communities like Necedah, Wis. have become the face of the nation’s opioid epidemic. Drug overdose deaths are more common in rural areas than urban ones. And rural doctors prescribe opioids more often by far, despite a nationwide decline in prescribing rates since 2012. Meanwhile, rural Americans have fewer alternatives to treat their very real pain, and they disproportionately lack access to effective addiction treatment like the medication buprenorphine. For rural physicians like Dr. Angela Gatzke-Plamann, the only full-time family doctor serving a town of just under one thousand residents, the burden of responding to the opioid epidemic falls squarely on their shoulders." from video introduction

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