Project Title

Contributing Factors to Drug Abuse in the Appalachian Region

Authors' Affiliations

Will Holcombe, Department of Appalachian Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.

Location

Culp Room 219

Start Date

4-6-2022 9:15 AM

End Date

4-6-2022 9:30 AM

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Appalachian Studies

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Rebecca Fletcher

Additional Sponsors

Joe Smith

Classification of First Author

Undergraduate Student

Competition Type

Non-Competitive

Type

Boland Symposium

Project's Category

Communications

Abstract or Artist's Statement

The Appalachian region faces widescale drug use and opioid addiction that exceeds the national average, and the crisis needs more attention in order to properly address the issue. Many previous studies have documented the problems Appalachian residents face regarding widespread opioid addiction and other diseases of despair. However, this study focuses on two causes behind the opioid crisis: a lack of access to medical care and over prescription of opioids. Additionally, the problem is affected by social and economic factors that perpetuate the problem of opioid addiction within Appalachia. For this study, previous research and studies on opioid abuse in Appalachia will be compiled into a literature review to make connections and determine previous identified factors contributing to the opioid crisis in the Appalachian region. Additionally, health professionals in Appalachia were be interviewed to provide professional perspective on the opioid addiction crisis in the Appalachian region. An infographic highlighting recovery rates and positive outcomes concerning the opioid addiction crisis was also developed to provide an accurate, positive outlook on the situation to the public. Several factors were identified as major contributors to the opioid crisis in Appalachia. These include mental health issues, PTSD from a variety of sources, association with drug users and normalization of drug use, and chronic pain relief. The principal problem identified revolved around the relationship between an easy access to opioids and a lack of access to medical care. The Appalachian region needs appropriate medical resources that would improve quality of life in the region and reduce opioid addiction.

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Apr 6th, 9:15 AM Apr 6th, 9:30 AM

Contributing Factors to Drug Abuse in the Appalachian Region

Culp Room 219

The Appalachian region faces widescale drug use and opioid addiction that exceeds the national average, and the crisis needs more attention in order to properly address the issue. Many previous studies have documented the problems Appalachian residents face regarding widespread opioid addiction and other diseases of despair. However, this study focuses on two causes behind the opioid crisis: a lack of access to medical care and over prescription of opioids. Additionally, the problem is affected by social and economic factors that perpetuate the problem of opioid addiction within Appalachia. For this study, previous research and studies on opioid abuse in Appalachia will be compiled into a literature review to make connections and determine previous identified factors contributing to the opioid crisis in the Appalachian region. Additionally, health professionals in Appalachia were be interviewed to provide professional perspective on the opioid addiction crisis in the Appalachian region. An infographic highlighting recovery rates and positive outcomes concerning the opioid addiction crisis was also developed to provide an accurate, positive outlook on the situation to the public. Several factors were identified as major contributors to the opioid crisis in Appalachia. These include mental health issues, PTSD from a variety of sources, association with drug users and normalization of drug use, and chronic pain relief. The principal problem identified revolved around the relationship between an easy access to opioids and a lack of access to medical care. The Appalachian region needs appropriate medical resources that would improve quality of life in the region and reduce opioid addiction.