Opioid Addiction Awareness8 months ago
Posted on Apr 11, 2018, 2 a.m.
Americans are becoming more aware of the growing opioid addiction problem then it was 2 years ago. 43% of Americans see misuse of prescriptions as a serious problem as compared to 33% 2 years ago, with 4 in 10 citing lack of discipline or willpower as the problem, according to a survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
The majority of Americans report having experiences with a various forms of substance abuse, 13% have a friend or relative that have overdosed from opioids. 53% of the general public see addiction to prescriptions as a disease. 44% say opioid addiction is due to lack of willpower and discipline, with 32% saying it is caused by character defects and bad parenting. Less than 1 in 5 are willing to associate with an individual who is addicted to prescription drugs, indicating the stigma surrounding opioid addiction is an issue.
It is important to raise the level of awareness and understanding of the public that now find themselves in the midst of an epidemic that is unfortunately claiming lives at an increasing rate. This survey provided in some cases troubling data which includes: two thirds of participants saying communities are not doing enough to make affordable and accessible treatments available or find improved ways to treat addiction; 64% would like stronger efforts to be made on arresting crack and heroin dealers; 57% have experience in dealing with substance misuse ranging from prescription abuse to illegal substances; 24% have an addicted friend, relative, or are addicted themselves.
There is a clear challenge to ensure the general public is aware and learn about the crisis grounded in facts, with social media playing a big role that largely isn’t always beneficial as in most cases it can glamourize things that shouldn’t be and distort facts with personal opinions that are often misleading. Social media is proving to be a dominant source of information for many people about the opioid crisis, 74% saying the use Facebook with 41% of whom saying they have seen posts about opioids or death from overdoses. Fewer users of other social media platforms report seeing such information.
Materials provided by NORC at the University of Chicago.
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.