Poll: Nearly 1/3 of Americans Say Drug Abuse Has Caused Family Trouble

By Michael W. Chapman | August 10, 2018 | 3:23 PM EDT

Heroin in a spoon. 
(YouTube)

(CNSNews.com) -- A new survey shows that 30% of Americans say drug abuse has caused trouble in their families, which is up from 22% who said the same in 2005.

In addition, alcohol use and obesity were cited as significant problems but the most destructive behavior cited was smoking cigarettes.

In the survey, Gallup asked, "Has drug abuse ever been a cause of trouble in your family?" Thirty percent said "yes."

In 1995, only 19% said yes to that question, and in 2005, 22%. 

Image: YouTube.

The increase in concern over drug abuse is "a signal that the nation's opioid epidemic, which has worsened in recent years, is taking a toll," said Gallup. 

"Overdoses from prescription opioids began to increase around 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with a sharp increase in heroin overdoses in 2010 and another increase in 2013 as a result of synthetic opioids," said Gallup

Image: YouTube.

The survey also found that when it came to drug-abuse-related family trouble, 38% of people in the West cited the issue. However, only 27% in the Midwest cited it, 26% in the South, and 28% in the East.

"CDC data on opioid overdoses find that the West region was second to the Midwest region in showing the greatest increase between 2016 and 2017," said Gallup. 

Women, 33%, "are more likely than men (26%) to say drug abuse has cause family trouble," reported Gallup. 

When it comes to alcohol, 37% of Americans said it was a cause of family trouble. that's up from 23% in 1995 and 15% in 1947.  In 1966, only 12% of Americans said alcohol was a cause of family trouble. 

As for the cause of serious health problems in their families, 24% of Americans cited obesity and 43% cited smoking. 

Image: YouTube. 

"Although drinking is still considered morally acceptable to most Americans, reports of family troubles associated with alcohol currently match their historical highs," said Gallup.  

"Meanwhile, the U.S. smoking rate has hit a new low and most Americans view cigarettes as very harmful, yet more American families have experienced serious health problems from cigarettes than from any of the other health issues tested," said the survey firm.  "As smoking becomes less prevalent, its negative effects on Americans' health will likely begin to decline."

For this poll, Gallup interviewed by telephone a random sample of 1,033 adults, living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, between July 1 and 11. 


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Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman