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One-third of Americans say they know someone who died of a drug overdose

A survey by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health revealed that 32% of citizens said they had lost someone to drug use.

Imagen de una persona tendida en el suelo por una sobredosis.


Some 32% of Americans report knowing someone who has died from a drug overdose, according to a new survey from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The survey results, which were published by JAMA Network, revealed that people who said they knew someone who died from drug use were more likely to support a policy aimed at curbing addiction. Likewise, the researchers highlight that mobilizing this group of people could be a way to enact regulations that include greater change to treat those who suffer from addiction:

In this cross-sectional study of 2326 US adults, 32% reported knowing someone who died of a drug overdose. Experiencing personal overdose loss was associated with greater odds of endorsement of addiction as an important policy issue. ... The findings suggest that mobilizing the large portion of the US population that has experienced drug overdose loss may be an avenue to facilitating greater policy change.

JAMA - HOPKINGS by Veronica Silveri

The survey was conducted with a group of more than 2,600 adults.

Overdoses more common in low-income people

The survey also indicated that people with the lowest incomes were the most likely to report knowing someone who had died from an overdose.

However, the figures do not change much regarding political views:

- 30% of Democrats reported having lost someone to an overdose.

- 33% of Republicans said they had known someone who died of an overdose.

- 34% of independents declared they knew of someone who died from excessive drug use.

Opioids accelerate the rate of overdose deaths

Researchers also indicated that opioids, which are prescribed by doctors to control severe pain, have accelerated the increasing rate of overdose deaths in recent years, especially due to the rise of fentanyl.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the total number of overdose deaths in the country exceeded 107,000 last year alone. Likewise, it was revealed that more than 321,000 children in the country lost a parent due to drug overdose between the years 2011-2021.