The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working on a plan to combat the opioid epidemic in rural America. The USDA is seeing impacts on the quality of life and economic well-being in small towns. In 2016, the state of Utah lost 635 people to the opioid epidemic. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has ranked Utah as one of the states with a high death rate at 22.35 per 100,000 people due to drug overdose. Utah also has one of the highest overdose rates among veterans. “We are launching a series of roundtable discussions,” said Ann Hazlett, the USDA assistant to the secretary for rural development.
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