ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — A newly released Siena Poll says more people have been affected in some way by opioid abuse but think opioids are less of a problem than two years ago. But, they feel that there is more awareness surrounding opioid abuse.
The percentage of people who have been affected or “touched” by opioid use has increased from 54% to 59% since 2018 while the percentage of people who say opioid abuse has risen fell from 83% to 65%.
“Seventy-eight percent of state residents, down slightly from 82 percent in 2018, say(s) that opioid abuse is a somewhat or very serious problem in their area. And most people are touched by this epidemic,” said Siena College Research Institute Director, Don Levy. “Fifty-nine percent have at least one if not several of these experiences; someone in their immediate or extended family or a co-worker has abused opioids, a friend shared with them that they had (a) family member suffering opioid addiction or they knew someone that died due to opioid abuse.”
The survey also indicated that 70% of survey takers believe drugs like Narcan and Naloxone are more readily available. A majority also think doctors are more conscious when prescribing pain medicines 69% and that treatment is easier to obtain 57%.
Sixty-four percent of people polled believe there are still prejudices associated with people who abuse opioids. Sixty-two percent don’t believe fewer people are dying from opioid overdoses.
Close to 85% of people polled also think doctors should be reprimanded for over-prescribing opioids and for the expansion of drug rehabilitation programs at correctional facilities.
A majority also support more money going towards syringe exchange programs and supervised injection sites as well as access to medications like methadone and buprenorphine. A majority also support randomly testing high schoolers with permission from parents/caregivers.