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More Americans Consider Opioid Addiction a Serious Problem

The opioid epidemic, which has gained the level of a national emergency, is at the cause of 115 people dying each day in America, based on the CDC findings in 2016. Yet only recently have the public began to see opioid addiction as a serious problem affecting their communities and the country as a whole, according to a new poll.

3 Minute Read | Published Aug 15 2023 | Updated Mar 05 2024 Expert Verified
Emma Collins
Written by
Dr. Ash Bhatt
Reviewed by
Emma Collins
Written by
Dr. Ash Bhatt
Reviewed by

Poll Finds that More Consider Opioid Addiction a Serious Problem in Their Community

In this article, we will look at the poll data to better understand public perception on opioid addiction.

Notable Poll Data

The poll was conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in March 2018, which asked 1,054 adults questions about opioid addiction and the opioid crisis as a whole.

Two years ago, 33 percent of people in America saw the opioid epidemic as a serious problem. The 2018 poll showed that this number has risen to 43 percent of people in the United States believing that the current opioid crisis is a serious concern for local communities. Heroin use was seen as a serious problem in 37 percent of respondents. In 2016, only 32 percent of people thought that heroin was a serious problem in their community.

The poll also revealed that many people still consider an opioid addiction to have an impactful social stigma. This stigma is revealed by data such as 73 percent of people not wanting an addict to marry someone in their family. While 58 percent said that they wouldn’t mind working alongside an addict at work, 55 percent said that they wouldn’t want to live next to an addict.

Disease vs. Bad Choices

According to the poll data, 44 percent of respondents still believe that addiction is not a disease but a series of poor choices or a lack of willpower. Of course, addiction is known to be a mental disease. Like other mental disorders, it causes changes in the way the brain works, which is what leads to many of the irrational behaviors seen in addicts, such as continuing with substance abuse even though the person knows that is the root of many of their problems.

The poll found that only 53 percent of people consider an opioid addiction a disease rather than moral shortcomings or a lack of discipline. A further 32 percent believed that addiction is caused by bad parenting or a character defect.

How to Get Help

If you are one of the people suffering from an addiction to opioids, or know someone close to you that needs help, then opioid addiction treatment is your best option.

Withdrawal symptoms from opioid abuse are often described by the addicts going through withdrawal as the worst flu they’ve ever had. To help with these severe symptoms, an addiction specialist can give medications. These medications assist with lessening the symptoms and helping the person to deal with the intense cravings, making it easier and safer to detox.

Another important focus of opioid addiction treatment is the behavioral issues that have led to opioid abuse in the past. This includes conditioned responses to stress and being in the company of other substance abusers. The skills needed to prevent relapse are also taught so that the person knows what to do when the process of relapse begins.

Aftercare services can help the person to continue with their recovery after they finished their rehab program. These are programs such as sober living homes, where recovering addicts can live together with strict rules, and support groups such as the famous AA and NA.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at (800) 429-7690.

Resources

bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020).
"Overdose Death Rates."
Retrieved on April 30, 2018
bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021).
"Opioid Overdose."
Retrieved on April 30, 2018
bullet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021).
"Opioid Overdose: Understanding the Epidemic."
Retrieved on April 30, 2018
bullet Pew Research Center. (2019).
"About Half of Americans Say Opioid Addiction Is a Very Serious Problem in Their Community."
Retrieved on April 30, 2018
bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020).
"Prescription Opioids."
Retrieved on April 30, 2018
bullet American Psychiatric Association. (2013).
"Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing."
Retrieved on April 30, 2018
bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020).
"Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)."
Retrieved on April 30, 2018
bullet American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2021).
"Definition of Addiction."
Retrieved on April 30, 2018
bullet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020).
"Understanding the Epidemic: Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Opioids."
Retrieved on April 30, 2018
bullet American Addiction Centers. (2021).
"Opioid Addiction in America: The Facts, the Risks, and the Solutions."
Retrieved on April 30, 2018
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