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Feds De-Prioritize List Of Mostly White Counties For Anti-Opioid Dollars

DoD via CC

Congress is spending billions more than it ever has to fight the opioid epidemic affecting the nation. Some of that money is going to rural areas, and there was some concern that the rural communities being targeted were almost entirely white.

The feds were prioritizing this anti-opioid money based on a CDC list of 220 mostly white, rural counties.

Graphs and Charts: Data Reveal Problems With List Of Counties Targeted For Anti-Opioid Funding

A New Mexico health official in Española brought that potential discrimination to light because some counties in this state struggle with high opioid death rates and didn’t make the list.

READ MORE: Rural Opioid Grants Target Mostly White Counties, None In New Mexico

The application for this grant money has been released, and though the list is mentioned—since it was baked into the spending bill Congress passed—KUNM has confirmed that counties on the list will receive no priority or weight as grants are distributed.

All rural organizations are encouraged to apply, as well as urban agencies that intend to spend the money entirely on rural populations.

READ MORE: Enduring Addiction

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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