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3 in 10 adults say someone in family addicted to opioids, study finds

New data indicates America's growing problem with opioid addiction is impacting rural communities more than urban ones.
3 in 10 adults say someone in family addicted to opioids, study finds
Posted at 12:37 PM, Aug 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-15 14:37:33-04

New data from health policy research firm KFF found that 3 in 10 U.S. adults say someone in their family has been addicted to opioids. 

The survey also found that those living in rural areas were much more likely than those in urban areas to say someone in their family suffers from opioid addiction. The survey found that 42% of adults in rural areas claim they or someone in their family has been addicted to opioids. About 23% of adults in urban areas gave the same answer. 

White adults were also more likely than Hispanic and Black American adults to say someone in their family is addicted to opioids. 

Of those who reported having someone in their family addicted to opioids, less than half said that person sought treatment. KFF noted that many people cited cost and a lack of insurance for not seeking treatment. 

Large majorities expressed support for addiction treatment centers in their communities and making Narcan free available throughout the community. But there was a significant political divide on whether there should be safe consumption sites. 

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About 61% of Democrats said there should be safe consumption sites where people can use illegal drugs with medical assistance nearby. That is compared to 23% of Republicans. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 100,000 people in the U.S. died from an overdose in 2021. About 70,000 of those deaths were due to synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl.

Opioid deaths have been trending much higher in recent years. In 2020, overdose deaths topped 100,000 in the U.S. for the first time. It was a 31% increase from 2019.


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