Seventy-one percent of Americans say the issue of opioid addiction is a very serious problem for the country, and most feel the federal government should be doing more to address it. Majorities across political lines and age and income levels (71 percent) call the issue very serious.
Many Americans have been touched by the issue personally. More than four in 10 (45 percent) say they personally know someone who has suffered from opioid addiction, including one in five who say the person is in their immediate family.
The opioid crisis appears to be hitting white, rural America hard. More whites (48 percent) than blacks (34 percent) say they know someone who has suffered from opioid addiction, and rural Americans (52 percent) are also more likely than those living in the cities (38 percent) or the suburbs (45 percent) to know someone who has suffered.
When Americans are asked who they blame most for the opioid addiction problem, people who abuse pain medication top the list (28 percent), followed by pharmaceutical companies who make and sell the pain medication (23 percent), and doctors who prescribe the medication (19 percent). Dealers and gangs who bring drugs into the country (16 percent) rank last on the list of the choices given.
A large majority of Americans — 8 in 10 — say the federal government should be doing more to address opioid addiction. This view extends across partisan lines.