Poll: 80% of New Yorkers blame physicians for opioid crisis

The majority of New Yorkers (80 percent) believe physicians over-prescribing opioids contributes most to opioid abuse, with nearly two-thirds expressing state governmental entities do not do enough to address it, according to a poll conducted by Albany, N.Y.-based Siena College.

To raise awareness on opioid abuse and address the crisis, Siena College surveyed approximately 1,400 New Yorkers about who they thought held the most responsibility for widespread opioid issues.

Here are four poll findings.

1. When asked how they would allocate available state funds to address the opioid crisis, the public would use 25 percent for supporting treatment and rehabilitation, 22 percent for addressing the root causes, 19 percent on public education, 18 percent for addressing those responsible through regulation and litigation and 16 percent to encourage criminal justice officials to rectify the problem.

2. Over 80 percent of respondents said giving patients access to too many pain pills, over-prescription of opioids and pharmaceutical companies failing to be transparent about opioid risks are either somewhat or very responsible for the current level of opioid abuse.

3. More than 70 percent of respondents cited insufficient governmental regulation, the moral failings of individuals, lack of public awareness, increasing societal pressures like economic problems and insufficient attention paid by federal law enforcement.

4. Poll respondents expressed support for governmental entities to incorporate additional school programs for drug abuse prevention (85 percent), provide more funding for opioid treatment and rehabilitation (83 percent), and work to facilitate better communication between law enforcement, medical institutions, treatment facilities and insurance providers (82 percent).

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