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White House Adviser for Rural Affairs Outlines Drug Crisis in Rural America

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Anne Hazlett is the Senior Advisor for Rural Affairs at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. In the year she has been in that post, she has traveled rural America to assess the drug crisis.

After meeting with grassroots elements across the country, she is encouraged that progress is being made in the opioid battle. Overdose deaths are down breaking a long-time upward trend.

Hazlett says she is heartened with the efforts generated by small rural communities across the country in taking command of this issue and providing innovative approaches to addiction and treatment.

She is especially laudatory about efforts at Ohio University to help local and regional communities. She especially noted a virtual reality segment on administering NARCAN in the case of an overdose. That project is being developed by the Game Research and Immersive Design Lab (GRID Lab) in the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University.

While on the Ohio University campus, Hazlett met with community officials and several faculty and staff from the College of Health Sciences and Professions, the School of Nursing and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.

Hazlett says that partnerships between universities and local communities are critical in combatting the opioid crisis and associated rural problems. She also says that the federal government plays a critical role in combatting addiction.