Survey: 1 in 4 Americans say physicians are most to blame for opioid epidemic

Just two percent of American adults said the nation's opioid crisis improved over the past year, while nearly two-thirds said the crisis worsened, according to a recent survey sponsored by PBS NewsHour and conducted by Marist Poll.

More than 1,100 people participated in the survey, which took place from Sept. 25 through Sept. 27.

Here are four survey findings.

1. On the opioid epidemic: When asked to categorize the nation's ongoing opioid addiction crisis, 26 percent of respondents said the epidemic is a national emergency, 58 percent said it is a major problem but not an emergency, 11 percent said it's a minor problem, 2 percent said it's not a problem at all and 3 percent said they were unsure.

2. On who's to blame: When asked what groups are most to blame for the nation's opioid addiction problem, 24 percent said physicians, 21 percent said drug dealers, 18 percent said people who take painkillers, 17 percent said pharmaceutical companies, 11 percent said the federal government and 9 percent said they were unsure who was most to blame.

3. On addiction: When asked whether opioid addiction was an illness or personal weakness, 53 percent of respondents said addicted individuals had an illness, 36 percent said those with opioid addiction had a personal weakness and 10 percent said they were unsure.

4. On how to solve the crisis: When asked what method would be most effective at stopping the opioid addiction crisis, 37 percent said tracking physician prescribing of opioids, 21 percent said limiting opioid prescriptions, 17 percent said making government approval more difficult, 12 percent said they were unsure, 8 percent said putting warning labels on prescriptions and 6 percent said improving border security.

To view the complete survey, click here

More articles on opioids: 
Opioid-related ED discharges dip in last decade, but heroin discharges rise 
Washington state, Seattle file opioid lawsuits against drugmakers 
Florida governor to propose 3-day opioid prescription limits in 2018

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