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.
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.
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.