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People’s attitudes and opinions regarding drugs and alcohol are constantly changing, constantly evolving. The following statistics will give you a better idea of what people think about drugs and alcohol.

On the whole, women are typically more concerned about drug use than men. (Hanson et al., 2004, p. 461)

What people think about drugs

  • A Gallup survey of public opinion in the 1990s found that 54% of respondents opposed drug legalization, and another 31% were moderately opposed to it. Only 14% favored it. (Gallup Poll, 1995)

What people think about alcohol

  • 77% of people in one survey said that in comparison to all other drug problems, alcohol creates the most family problems and hassles for society. (Newport, 2000) Yet nearly half the U.S. population drinks regularly. (Hanson et al., 2004, p 466) :

What people think about marijuana

  • In a 2011 survey, 85% of readers of Grand, an online magazine for grandparents, favored the complete legalization of marijuana. in the U.S. By 2017 this had climbed to 27,658, largely due to prescription drug abuse. (Kluger, 2010)

Statistics on prescription opioid abuse

    1. In 2010, Americans filled 254 million prescriptions for pain-killing opioid drugs such as Oxycontin and Percoset. For perspective, this is enough to medicate every American adult around the clock for a month. (The Week, 11-25-2011, p. 22)

    1. There are 650,000 prescriptions for opioids filled each and every day. (Boxer, 2017)

    1. Since 1990, there has been a tenfold increase in prescriptions for opioids in the U.S., according to the CDC. (Kluger, 9-13-2010)

    1. Among U.S. soldiers, 22% had abused prescription drugs in the past year, and 13% had done so in the past month in 2008 – more than triple the 4% who admitted such behavior 3 years earlier in 2005. (Zoroya, 12-17-2009)

    1. The number of overdose deaths from prescription opioids nearly quadrupled between 2001 and 2015, to 22,584, according to the CDC. Heroin overdose deaths (which are often spurred by prescription drug abuse) increased sevenfold in the same time span. (Canal, 2017)

    1. Medicaid patients are prescribed opioid painkillers at double the rate of non-Medicaid patients and are 3- to 6-times more likely to overdose. (Wall Street Journal, 10-27-2017, A14)

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