The Public and the Opioid-Abuse Epidemic – 2018-02-01

Over the past year, the U.S. opioid-abuse epidemic has gained enormous visibility. President Donald Trump has identified it as a “public health emergency,” and a national commission and a commission of state governors have issued recommendations for action.1,2 This concern stems from the fact that in 2016 more than 11 million Americans misused prescription opioids, and opioid-related deaths have more than quadrupled since 1999.3,4

To determine what the public believes should be done to address the epidemic, we examined data from seven national polls conducted in 2016 and 2017. Many of the findings may surprise people who have been following this issue in professional journals and the media.

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Robert J. Blendon, Sc.D., and John M. Benson, M.A.
New England Journal of Medicine 2018; 378:407-411
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1714529