“To assess the public’s perception of the nation’s ongoing opioid overdose and addiction crisis, two public health researchers with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston analyzed findings from seven national polls conducted in 2013, 2016 and 2017.
The analysis was published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. Here are three of the six key findings from the polls.
- In a poll conducted by PBS NewsHourand Marist Poll in September 2017, 38 percent of respondents said the opioid crisis was a major problem within their own community.
- Among individuals who view opioid addiction as a serious health problem, 28 percent of respondents to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted in April and July of 2016 said the problem ranked fifth among health crises facing the nation.
- In a Pew Research poll conducted in October 2017, 38 percent of respondents said the opioid crisis was an extremely serious public health issue, compared to just 19 percent of respondents who shared this belief in a 2013 Pew survey.
“An important finding from our review is that at a time when public- and private-sector leaders are seeking a substantial increase in government funding for opioid-addiction treatment programs and legislation requiring insurers to offer coverage for these treatments, polls show a large share of the public uncertain about the long-term effectiveness of treatment,” concluded the authors of the analysis. “There is a clear need for the medical and scientific communities to educate the public about the issues surrounding the potential effectiveness of treatment.”
Source: BeckerHospitalReview.com – January 5, 2018