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Americans still not ready to embrace patients of addiction, finds survey

The biggest battle that a patient of addiction fights is not that of recovery, but of overcoming the associated stigma, says a recent survey conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The study revealed that majority of Americans still consider opioid addiction a serious health hazard and would not want to be associated with a patient of addiction.

The survey analyzed the telephonic and online responses of around 1,054 adults between March 14 and March 19, 2018. It found that approximately 53 percent participants considered prescription drug addiction a serious disease, whereas 44 percent termed it as a result of lack of discipline and willpower. Moreover, 43 percent Americans agreed that prescription drug abuse was a “serious problem” afflicting the community. Further, 37 percent respondents said that heroin was a “serious concern.”

When asked about the loved ones who were affected by the opioid epidemic, a majority of the participants said that they had some form of experience with substance abuse problems during their lifetime. Around 13 percent said that they had lost a relative or a close friend to opioid overdose.

Social media platforms not used much for selling opioids, says survey

Another trend analyzed by the survey was the frequency of messages related to opioids appearing on various social media platforms. According to the survey, of the 74 percent adults who used Facebook, around 41 percent said that they had seen messages related to the opioid epidemic or death due to opioid overdoses. The percentage among the users of Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat was low.

However, social media platforms were not used for selling opioids, as less than one in 10 users had seen offers related to opioids on such platforms. This was contrary to a recent announcement made by Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb who said that social media platforms needed to play a more active role in blocking advertisements selling opioids. The agency plans to invite the chief executive officers (CEO) of large social media platforms to discuss how the tech industry can help combat the opioid epidemic.

Stigma adds to the trouble for patients of addiction seeking recovery

Considered to be a fallout of bad parenting or a character flaw by around 32 percent of the respondents, prescription drug addiction is affecting almost all families in the United States. Discriminated for their condition, less than one in five healthy members of the society were willing to be associated with an addiction patient as either a friend, colleague or neighbor.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the opioid epidemic is spreading at a fast pace in the country, affecting people of all age groups. Of the 63,632 drug overdose deaths in 2016, approximately two-thirds involved a prescription or illicit opioid. According to the spending plan forwarded by President Donald Trump last month, the government has earmarked $4.6 billion for tackling opioid crisis this year. These funds will be utilized across different agencies to help the states and local governments execute prevention, treatment, and law enforcement initiatives to curb opioid abuse.

Seeking treatment for opioid addiction

Individuals dependent on opioids or any other substance must remember that drug addiction is life-threatening. Therefore, attaining sobriety should be the primary objective to lead a healthy life. If you know someone addicted to opioids and would prefer a drug help live chat for information, the 24/7 Recovery Helpline can assist. Chat online with our trained drug addiction help online chat members for details about comprehensive deals in your vicinity. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 to know more about the harmful effects of addiction to prescription drugs.

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