The US is facing a drug and alcohol addiction epidemic and most Americans have been personally affected by the issue, a new survey lays bare.
Two-thirds of adults reported either they or a family member suffer from addiction to illicit or pharmaceutical drugs or alcohol, according to the KFF Health Tracking Poll.
And nearly 10 percent of people over the age of 18 years old said they had lost a relative or friend to an overdose.
More than half of those surveyed, 54 percent, said someone in their family was addicted to alcohol, while 27 percent had a family member addicted to illegal drugs, such as heroin and the rest were addicted to prescription medicine.
Separate data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed nearly 110,000 people died from drug overdoses in the US last year, continuing the surge of drug-related deaths experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Deaths from overdoses in 2022 were the highest ever recorded in a calendar year, followed by 109,179 reported in 2021.
A recent survey found two-thirds of Americans reported either they or a family member suffer from addiction to drugs or alcohol, have experienced homelessness due to addiction or have been hospitalized because of a drug overdose
Substance use disorder and addiction issues surged during the pandemic. A separate study by KFF found the drug overdose death rate rose by 50 percent in 2021 from 2019
Thirteen percent of people told KFF Health Tracking Poll they feel they may be an alcoholic and five percent say they feel addicted to prescription painkillers.
Beyond directly being impacted by addiction, people fear the possibility of the disease.
About half of adults are worried someone in their family will experience substance abuse and one-third are concerned a family member will overdose on opioids.
Approximately three-quarters of those surveyed who had a personal or familial history of addiction said their experiences impacted their relationships with family members.
Seventy percent said addiction impacted their mental health and 57 percent said addiction damaged their financial situation.
Despite the addiction epidemic, less than half of those impacted by addiction, 46 percent, reported receiving treatment for the disease, and those seeking help varied based on their addiction.
Among those receiving treatment, 29 percent received it for an illegal drug addiction and 58 percent were treated for an opioid addiction.
Furthermore, the number of people suffering from addiction and receiving help varies based on multiple factors, including income, race and location.
Twenty-seven percent of respondents had a family member addicted to illegal drugs, such as heroin
Two-thirds of adults reported either they or a family member suffer from addiction to illicit or pharmaceutical drugs or alcohol, according to the KFF national poll
While 29 percent of those surveyed said they or someone in their family was addicted to opioids, that percentage rose to 42 percent of people living in rural areas.
Opioid addiction was also highest among white people, at 33 percent, compared to 23 percent and 28 percent of Black and Hispanic people, respectively.
Among people with a personal or familial history of addiction, white people were also most likely to receive treatment, at 52 percent, compared to about one-third of Black and Hispanic people with an addiction history.
Addiction also impacts people differently based on income levels. While one-in-five adults report being personally addicted to drugs or alcohol, that share increases to 25 percent among people making less than $40,000, and decreases as income level increases. Sixteen percent of people with a household income of more than $90,000 report being addicts.
With the crisis of addiction and overdoses intensifying, there have been many suggestions for how to manage and treat those suffering from addiction.
Among the proposed strategies is establishing treatment centers in neighborhoods, which 90 percent of respondents support.
Eighty-two percent support making Narcan, a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose, readily available in bars, health clinics and fire stations.
Fewer people, however, support safe consumption sites, places where people can use illegal drugs under the supervision of trained personnel in case of emergency. Less than half of those surveyed, 45 percent, support the controversial facilities.
Read the full article here