The Business Case for Opening a Suboxone Clinic

Given these indications of widespread prescription opioid addiction in rural America, we investigated the possibility of opening a Suboxone clinic as one of the Rural System Groups. rs_suboxone_clinicSuboxone is an evidence-based medication treatment known for reducing crime and illegal opioid use.

Here are basics about Suboxone: [Read more…]

On the Rise of Non-Heroin Opiate Addiction in Southwest Virginia

prescription_drugsLand health means nothing to us if people cannot be sustained upon it. And not merely sustained: the land cannot be tended and used well if the communities living there are enslaved by addiction.

We saw in The Local Costs of Meth in Montgomery County, Virginia that drug addiction affects whole communities. In addition to the psychosocial impact on friends, family members, and the addicts themselves, addiction results in high costs to taxpayers due to busts, cleanup, and incarceration. [Read more…]

The Local Costs of Meth in Montgomery County

CRIME-SCENEWhen people become addicted to drugs, though they are the primary victims they are not the only ones affected. Addiction influences whole communities, especially in rural areas where such communities are small and funds are tight. Here in Montgomery county, in Southwest Virginia, we are not an exception.

According to a recent news report, the sheriff’s office spent over 36,000 taxpayer dollars last year on meth lab clean-ups. This is over five times the amount they spent on the issue in 2012. [Read more…]

On Making Meth and Money

A version of this post first appeared on Handshake 2.0.

Living in a place is about much more than the land or weather. A place is most characterized by the people who live there and the communities they form. Rural communities are far removed from the constant happenings of big cities and are small, so things that happen within them affect everyone within the community. In rural areas across the United States we have seen increasing issues with drugs and addiction, particularly methamphetamine.meth and money

We at Rural System consider the health of rural communities to be integral to land health, tied as people are to the unique ecology of rural areas. Rural System is therefore very much concerned about the rise in addictions among rural populations, recognizing them as a problem of public health. It is more important than ever for all of us to understand addiction as a national community. [Read more…]

New Horsepower in the Rural System

What works like a mule but doesn’t have legs? The new Rural System tool aptly named the mechanical mule.

The invention of the tractor revolutionized farming. Horses and mules are costly, need rest, and are affected by temperature or pests. Early tractors plowed an acre in the third of the time it would take five horses to do the same work.  Today’s powerful tractors accelerate the process even further. However, the cost of tractors can easily reach over $100,000. Arguably, the use of tractors is cost-effective because of the benefits of efficiency and scale even on small farms. A great assessment of farm machinery costs can be found here.  Despite the eventual cost-savings, the upfront costs, even just a few thousand dollars, are prohibitive for some farmers.  Subsistence farmers in developing regions and farmers in impoverished areas throughout the United States struggle to afford even the most inexpensive tractor. This is a great story about how a single tractor can change a community. How can we recreate this benefit on a larger scale? A less expensive, but equally efficient, tool for plowing fields could make a big difference.

Mechanical mule - side view

The mechanical mule prototype. This model is outfitted with a low axle but can easily be scaled up to larger wheels to overcome uneven terrain.

[Read more…]