Substance Abuse a Top Concern for Virginia Communities

To assist communities to work together to solve common issues, the Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF) and VHHA co-sponsored a study of the community health needs assessments (CHNA) to collate and catalog the issues and strategies for addressing them. After obesity (covered in the Dec. 18, 2015 Research Corner item), the most common concern is behavioral health. Within the behavioral health concern, the most common issue needing to be addressed is substance abuse (see Figure 1). Fifty-seven out of the 73 CHNAs (78 percent) specifically mentioned substance abuse as a concern. The distribution of the areas in which substance abuse is a frequent concern is not uniform across the state (see Figure 2). When the locales reporting substance abuse are mapped to counties (see Figure 3), it appears that the area of the state most concerned about substance abuse is Hampton Roads. (1/8)