USDA launches website to help fight opioid epidemic


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a new website with resources designed to help rural communities in Florida respond to the opioid epidemic.

The website underscores the growing number of drug overdose deaths across the country and provides local leaders the information and best practices they need to combat the crisis.

It's estimated that over 63,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016. More than half of those involved opioids, from heroin to prescription pills, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

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The epidemic has reached the point where President Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Scott have declared it a state and national emergency, said USDA Rural Development State Director Sydney Gruters.

“Research suggests that rural communities are particularly fertile ground for this epidemic," Gruters said in part.

To learn more about the USDA's efforts to bring the opioid crisis under control, visit USDA.gov/topics/opioids.

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