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SD Vulnerability Assessment County Data

Rural U.S. communities are disproportionately impacted by drug overdose deaths, despite having lower drug use rates than urban communities. In 2009, deaths from drug overdose surpassed deaths from motor vehicle accidents in the U.S., and the majority (60%) of drug overdose deaths were due to prescription opioid abuse and misuse.​ The incidence of deaths from opioid analgesic poisoning quadrupled between 1999 and 2011, followed by a marked increase in cases of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) between 2010 and 2015— largely associated with an increase in injection drug use (IDU) in rural areas. IDU is a risk factor for HCV, HIV, and other infections, and has become an important factor in understanding and responding to the nationwide opioid crisis. Recent clusters of injection-related HIV and HCV have occurred in rural areas of several states due to increasing use of illicit prescription opioids and heroin. These events raise concern for the vulnerability of similar rural communities to the rapid spread of HIV and HCV among networks of persons who inject drugs.

The South Dakota Department of Health and several partners embarked on a project looking at South Dakota Counties and their vulnerability to these IDU risk factors. The purpose of this project was to develop and disseminate county-level vulnerability assessments that identify areas in South Dakota at high risk for opioid overdose and injection-related HIV and HCV. Results highlight structural, socioeconomic, and geographic factors potentially important when assessing risk among South Dakota counties for opioid overdose and rapid spread of HIV and HCV. Please consider using these findings to inform local prevention and intervention services to minimize death and disability resulting from the nationwide opioid crisis.
To read more about the assessment, click on the South Dakota Vulnerability Assessment Report​.


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