All-time high: The majority of Americans think nation is 'losing ground on drug problem'

74% of citizens believe that "the drug situation in the U.S. is very serious." "The public has never been more pessimistic than they are today," the pollster reported.

The United States "is losing ground on the illegal drug problem." That is the opinion of the majority of the nation's citizens. A new Gallup poll revealed that for the first time - since the poll was taken (1972) - 52% of Americans think the country is losing the fight against illicit substances:

The public has never been more pessimistic than they are today, at least in the years Gallup has collected data on the matter.

Only 24% of citizens (a historic low) think that the nation has made progress in the fight against illegal drugs. Another 23% claimed that solutions have stalled. Furthermore, 74% "say that the drug situation in the U.S. is very serious":

Currently, 74% of U.S. adults describe the drug problem in the nation as either extremely or very serious, up from 64% the last time the question was asked in 2021 but similar to the 2019 reading of 73%. The record high of 83% was measured in 2000, the first year the question was asked.

Americans see little progress

The figure shows there is a strong feeling of pessimism regarding the drug crisis. As an example, in 2019 (just four years ago), 41% of people told Gallup that the country was making progress in the fight against drugs. Of those, only 30% perceived that the country was "losing ground":

The pollster explained the big change by claiming that the increase in drug overdose deaths (including the fentanyl crisis) makes Americans more aware of the serious crisis the nation is experiencing:

Amid news of an alarming spike in the number of U.S. adults succumbing to overdoses of opioids and other dangerous drugs, Americans generally see little progress in addressing the illegal drug problem in the nation. Drug overdose deaths in the U.S. have risen sharply in recent years, with much of the increase due to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. But overdoses linked to other types of drugs, including cocaine and methamphetamines, have also grown since 2019.

The survey was conducted among more than 1,000 American adults in October.