When you think of rural living and farmers, do you think of opioid addiction? Likely not, but a recent survey by the Morning Consult shows a different story. Agriculture is one of the riskiest industries to work in for injury and hazards and is also an industry where getting appropriate time off to recover is practically non-existent.
According to the Center for Disease Control
- Every day, about 100 agricultural workers suffer a lost-work-time injury.
- From 2008-2010, 50% of all hired crop worker injuries were classified as a sprain or strain.
- In 2014, an estimated 12,000 youth were injured on farms; 4,000 of these injuries were due to farm work.
The Morning Consult showed some seriously disturbing numbers in its survey, here’s just a taste:
- 74% of farmers and farm workers say they have been directly impacted by the opioid epidemic
- 3 in 4 farmers say it’s easy to get an opioid without a prescription
- 1 in 3 rural adults say they have easy access to help and treatment
Enter a surprising match. The Farm Bureau, generally known as a conservative group, has teamed up with the Farm Union, known as a democrat leaning group, to try and bring awareness and education to areas hit hard by the opioid crisis through Farm Town Strong, an online resource to help raise awareness and get help for those struggling with addiction. It will prove to be an uphill battle as resources are slim and stigma is rampant in most communities battling this issue.