Survey Highlights Impact of Drug Overdose Loss in the US

Survey Highlights Impact of Drug Overdose Loss in the US
Survey Highlights Impact of Drug Overdose Loss in the US. Credit | Getty images

United States – The same survey revealed that about one in every three Americans said that they had interacted with a person who died of a drug overdose.

An online poll organized by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows that 32% of people personally know someone who died from a drug overdose. It was also revealed that those who said that they know someone who died due to drug use were in support of policies that will mitigate the incidences of addiction, according to the poll, as reported by The Hills.

Advocacy for Bereaved Families Key to Policy Implementation

In the article published in JAMA Network last Friday, the researchers indicated that an area that may enable the implementation of more policies for addiction may be through advocating for those who lost their loved ones to drug use.

They also pointed out that opioids such as morphine and heroin are medically used drugs designed to relieve pain by doctors, but especially with the use of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and polysubstance, the rate of overdose deaths has increased over the recent years.

The overdose deaths in the US have been on the rise since the year 1999, and although research on the rationale can still be carried out, the researchers observed that few studies had been done concerning the effects on the surviving family members of the dead.

The survey also showed that personal overdose loss was more common with lower-income respondents and differed by political affiliation, with only a slight difference being recorded between the two major political parties.

Since 1999, more than 1 million people have died of a drug overdose in the United States, and while studies are still being conducted on the reasoning, researchers noted that there’s not much known about the impacts on the family or friends of the deceased.

The survey also found that personal overdose loss was more prevalent among groups with lower incomes but did not differ much across political parties.

Nearly 30 percent of Democrats said they lost someone to overdose, while 33 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of independents said the same.

The authors of the study for this cross-sectional survey have indicated that 32% of the US adults stated that they had acquaintances who died from an overdose, and that personal losses affected boosts the odds of endorsing addiction as important policies. “The study implies that mobilization of this group may be taken as a channel that could be utilized in a bid to enhance more policy change.

Call for Action Amidst Grim Statistics

Another study on the outcome of overdose deaths between 2011 and 2021 calculated that over 321,000 children in the US lost their parents to drug overdose, as reported by The Hills.

A survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the United States recorded a slight decline in drug overdose deaths in 2023, marking the first time the figure shrunk since 2018. However, it is also important to notice the fact of a rather high death rate; specifically, 107,604 people died in 2023 due to the intake of medications in excessive quantities.