The share of Americans worrying about drug addiction dropped from 42% in 2018 to 35% in 2021, even in locations where fatal overdoses have increased the fastest

US Drug Addiction

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

Even while drug overdose deaths in the United States have risen substantially, the share of Americans who regard drug addiction as a “serious problem” in their town has decreased in recent years. Even in areas of the United States where drug overdose death rates have risen the fastest, public concern about addiction has decreased.

drug addiction data
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 92,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2020, up from around 70,000 in 2017. Overdose deaths increased from 21.7 to 28.3 per 100,000 individuals during the same time period.

Despite these gains, the number of Americans who say drug addiction is a big problem in their town has decreased by 7% points in subsequent Pew Research Center surveys, from 42% in 2018 to 35% in 2021. In a separate Center study conducted in early 2022, dealing with drug addiction was ranked last out of 18 presidential and congressional objectives for this year.

Between 2017 and 2020, the number of people who died from drug overdoses climbed throughout the country’s cities, suburbs, and rural areas. However, in the Center’s subsequent studies, the percentage of Americans who say drug addiction is a big problem fell in all three types of places. This drop varied from 10% points in urban regions (from 43% in 2018 to 33% in 2021) to 5% points in suburban areas (from 39% to 34%).

Even in locations where drug overdose fatality rates are high, public awareness about addiction has decreased. Between 2017 and 2020, the share of Americans who say drug addiction is a serious problem in their town declined by 8% points, from 45% to 37%, in areas of the country with higher-than-median drug overdose death rates.

In places where drug overdose death rates increased by more than the median increase between 2017 and 2020, the trend is essentially identical. In 2018, 44 percent of Americans in these places believed drug addiction was a big problem in their town, but by 2021, that number had dropped to 38 percent.

It’s unclear why, even in locations where overdose death rates have risen rapidly, public awareness of drug addiction has waned in recent years. According to the Center’s surveys, Americans are more concerned about the national economy, lowering health-care costs, and coping with the coronavirus outbreak. 

More articles here.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best