When he was police chief of Stanwood, Wash., population 7,000, Ty Trenary thought rural communities like his were immune from the opioid crisis.
Then, one day, a mother walked through his door and said, "Chief, you have a heroin problem in your community."
"And I remember thinking, 'Well that's not possible,' " Trenary recalls. "This is Stanwood and heroin is in big cities with homeless populations. It's not in rural America."
But heroin addiction and abuse are not just a big city problem, as Trenary had thought. While the bulk of fatal overdoses still happen in urban areas, the rural overdose rate has increased to slightly surpass that of cities.
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