The relation of rural alcoholism to farm economy
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Several studies have suggested an association between the farm crisis of the 1980's and the increase in mental health problems in rural America. A stress hypothesis for alcoholism would indeed predict such an association. The study presented herein examines the rate of new referrals for treatment of alcohol abuse and/or dependence to state-funded agencies in Nebraska. Between mid-1978 and mid-1986, the rate of subjects seeking treatment grew steadily, paralleling an increase in both population and available treatment programs. Yet, the total number of farmers seeking treatment peaded around 1982 and declined steadily thereafter, outpacing any change in the total number of farmers in the state. Possible interpretations of these findings are discussed.
KeywordsPublic Health Alcohol Mental Health Health Problem Treatment Program
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