MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The federal government awarded Alabama two grants totaling $400,000 to alleviate rural opioid abuse.

Forty states received grants of $24 million in all as part of an initiative to implement prevention, treatment and recovery programs for substance use disorders in rural communities.

George Sigounas, who heads the Health Resources and Services Administration, says the goal of the program is to reduce opioid deaths in high-risk, rural communities.

A statement released Tuesday by Health and Human Services says opioid users in rural communities face added challenges in getting treatment.

The agency says those people are more likely to be uninsured, to have less education and to have lower incomes than their urban counterparts.

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