With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis and the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health (UK CERH) conducted this study to understand possible factors associated with declining rates of drug overdose mortality in Eastern Kentucky. Several counties in Eastern Kentucky have seen declines in drug overdose mortality rates over the past decade, even as overdose rates have risen in the state of Kentucky as a whole, as well as in the Appalachian regions of neighboring states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. Through an intensive qualitative study, NORC and UK CERH identified potential policies and strategies that may be contributing to the declines, including approaches that could be implemented in other communities.

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This report was funded by and prepared for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).