Friday, May 06, 2016

Kaiser poll: Government, doctors not doing enough to combat prescription drug and heroin abuse

Most Americans don't think governments and doctors are doing enough to combat prescription drug and heroin abuse, growing concerns in rural areas, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. The telephone survey of 1,201 adults found that 67 percent said their state government is not doing enough to fight prescription drugs, and 61 percent said the same of heroin. Doctors didn't score much better. Fewer people said the same of law enforcement, with only a third of respondents saying police are not doing enough for prescription drugs or heroin.

"Prescription drug addiction also impacts much of the public on a personal level, with 44 percent saying they personally know someone who has been addicted to prescription painkillers, including 20 percent who say the person was a family member and 2 percent who say they themselves were addicted," reports Kaiser. "When asked about the potential effectiveness of various policy actions, more than eight in 10 Americans rate five strategies as 'very' or 'somewhat' effective: increasing pain management training for medical students and doctors (88 percent); increasing access to addiction treatment programs (86 percent); public education and awareness programs (84 percent); increasing research about pain and pain management (83 percent); and monitoring doctors’ prescription painkiller prescribing habits (82 percent)." (Kaiser graphic)

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