The United States is facing an epidemic of drug and alcohol addiction, and most Americans have been personally affected by the problem, a new survey reveals.
Two-thirds of adults reported that they or a family member suffered from addiction to illicit or pharmaceutical drugs or alcohol, according to the KFF Health Tracking Survey.
And nearly 10 percent of people 18 and older said they had lost a family member 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. Others reported that family members were addicted to pain relievers, experienced a drug overdose, or required hospitalization due to their addiction.
Substance use disorder and addiction problems emerged during the pandemic.
A seperation study by KFF found that the drug overdose death rate increased by 50 percent in 2021 from 2019.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that nearly 110,000 people died of drug overdoses in the US last year, continuing the rise in drug-related deaths experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. covid-19.
Overdose deaths in 2022 were the highest ever recorded in a calendar year, followed by 109,179 reported in 2021.
A recent survey found that two-thirds of Americans reported that they or a family member suffered from drug or alcohol addiction, had become homeless due to addiction, or had been hospitalized due to a drug overdose.
Substance use disorder and addiction problems emerged during the pandemic. A separate study by KFF found that the drug overdose death rate increased by 50 percent in 2021 from 2019.
Thirteen percent of people told the KFF Health Tracking Survey they feel they may be alcoholics and five percent say they feel addicted to prescription pain relievers.
Beyond being directly affected by addiction, people fear the possibility of the disease.
Approximately half of adults are concerned that someone in their family will experience substance abuse, and one-third are concerned that a family member will overdose on opioids.
Approximately three-quarters of respondents who had a personal or family history of addiction said that their experiences affected their relationships with family members. Seventy percent said addiction affected their mental health, and 57 percent said addiction hurt their financial situation.
Despite the addiction epidemic, less than half of those affected by addiction, 46 percent, reported having received treatment for the disease, and those seeking help varied depending on their addiction.
Among those who received treatment, 29 percent received treatment for an addiction to illegal drugs and 58 percent received treatment for an addiction to opioids.
Additionally, the number of people suffering from addiction who receive help varies based on multiple factors, including income, race, and location.
Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed had a family member addicted to illegal drugs, such as heroin.
Two-thirds of adults report that they or a family member suffer from addiction to illicit or pharmaceutical drugs or alcohol, according to KFF’s national survey
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 whites, at 33 percent, compared to 23 percent and 28 percent for blacks and Hispanics, respectively.
Among people with a personal or family history of addiction, whites were also more likely to receive treatment, at 52 percent, compared with about a third of black and Hispanic people with a history of addiction.
Addiction also affects people differently based on income levels. While one in five adults report being personally addicted to drugs or alcohol, that proportion increases to 25 percent among people earning less than $40,000 and decreases as income level increases. Sixteen percent of people with a family income of more than $90,000 report being addicted.
With the intensifying crisis of addiction and overdoses, there have been many suggestions on how to manage and treat people suffering from addiction.
Among the proposed strategies is establishing treatment centers in neighborhoods, which is supported by 90 percent of those surveyed.
Eighty-two percent support making Narcan, a drug 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 consume illegal drugs under the supervision of trained personnel in an emergency. Less than half of those surveyed, 45 percent, support the controversial facilities.