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Appalachian Diseases of Despair

August 2017
Michael Meit, Megan Heffernan, Erin Tanenbaum, and Topher Hoffmann
The Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis

This study analyzed the impact of diseases of despair on mortality within the Appalachian Region, focusing on increasing morbidity and mortality from three main causes: alcohol, prescription drug, and illegal drug overdose; suicide; and alcoholic liver disease/cirrhosis of the liver.
Full Report in PDF (1 MB)
Related Resources
Appalachian Overdose Mapping Tool
NORC at the University of Chicago and ARC released the Appalachian Overdose Mapping Tool in March 2018 to help Appalachian communities better understand the drug overdose epidemic in a socioeconomic context, and to inform their planning and response strategies. The tool lets users:
  • Map overdose data for the Regionís 420 counties and overlay data on socioeconomic factors including income, poverty, unemployment, educational attainment, ethnicity, and disability.
  • Compare county-level information with regional and national data, and see changes in the data over time between 2006 and 2015.
  • Generate county-level data fact sheets to assist in community planning efforts.
The tool is available at