The region of rural Appalachia has been hit very hard by the opioid epidemic and this area has the largest concentration of individuals addicted to opioids in the country. There are many reasons why people living in the Appalachian region have been at the heart of the crisis.  The most prominent reasons contributing to use in this region is the lack of economic activity, high numbers of unemployed individuals, and limited resources for care.

Researchers have been evaluating this region of the country and here is what they found:

  • Those who live in this region that is aged 25-44 have a mortality rate from an overdose that is 70 percent higher than the rest of the nation.
  • Those aged 15-64 have an overdose mortality rate that is 65 percent higher than the rate in the rest of the United States.

What Are The Appalachian People’s View On Opioids?

Many government agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) conducted a study over six months to understand what the views of those in the region were regarding opioids. The report showed that lost jobs and the inability to find gainful employment were a large factor contributing to the use of opioids. When anxiety and depression kicked in due to lack of opportunity or loss of opportunity, these drugs were a way folks self-medicated.

Additionally, there was a negative view of those living on government assistance with locals believing this was a contributing factor. Additionally, families who have struggled with chronic addiction and children growing up in poor home situations are also believed to be prime causes. When there are no motivating mentors or role models for the youth, they have nothing to aspire to. When children are exposed to drug use and not treated properly at home, they become numb to their environment, to others, and they lose self-confidence.

Most residents were well aware of the crisis and believed that the rest of their community were also not naive about the problem. However, even though most everyone recognizes the opioid crisis is a significant issue where they live, they don’t engage with each other on the topic. There is a certain shame surrounding addiction for these people which is why they won’t talk about it. The report indicates that a stronger presence in the region focused on education and changing of attitudes with regards to addiction could help the problem.

Why Access To Treatment Is So Vital To Overcoming Addiction?

Opioid Addiction In AppalachiaIn the Appalachian region, the preventative, alternative, and addiction treatment options are severely lacking. Finding ways to extend more professional services to this region is another path towards tackling the problem.

The caring and compassionate team at Discovery Place, a Tennessee addiction alternative treatment center can help those from Appalachia who are suffering from addiction. We understand how difficult it is to seek help, but once you are ready, we are here to provide you with the tools and resources to overcome your addiction and experience the joy of recovery.

Call us today at 1-800-725-0922 to learn more about the programs at our alternative treatment center.  Our alternative addiction rehabilitation center has a long history of success helping those struggling with alcohol and drug addiction get their health and lives back.


  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

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