Rural crime and the Appalachian region have both been victims of bias. Rural crime is often a piece of studying criminology that is left lacking because of the preferred method of collecting data, drawing up theories, and more with more urban environments. The Appalachian region has long faced an infamous reputation for many things such as ignorance in its people, poverty rates, drug addiction, its backwardness in its culture, and many more long-established reasons. This research, however, is to hopefully shine a bright light on both the study of rural crime and the Appalachian region. With this study I have combined both a study of rural crime and Appalachian Kentucky to create an improved understanding of rural crime as it relates to this study, Appalachia’s history, culture, and economy to understand how these factors can shape the experiences and behaviors of the Appalachian people. This is to establish a relationship between drugs and crime in Appalachia Kentucky, as the ongoing opioid epidemic is still troublesome for the Appalachian region and its states, because most studies of drug-crime relationship are done with urban bias. This study will fill the gap on what is lacking with opioid use and crime in Appalachian Kentucky’s 52 counties.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2023


Betsy Matthews

Mentor Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Justice Studies