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Opioid Crisis

This 2017 file photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York.

INDIANAPOLIS — A federal agency has awarded Indiana $1.2 million to further the state's efforts to fight the opioid epidemic in rural areas.

The Health Resources and Services Administration's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy awarded $200,000 in planning grants to six Indiana entities , including mental health treatment centers.

Indiana's funding is part of $24 million announced Monday for 40 states. That money will go toward formalizing partnerships with local stakeholders, conducting needs assessments and developing plans to prevent substance abuse, including opioid abuse, in rural areas.

Federal officials say rural opioid users are more likely to be uninsured, less educated and have a lower income than their urban counterparts.

More than half of the nation's rural counties also lack a provider who can prescribe the opioid addiction-withdrawal drug buprenorphine.

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