Survey: more people say they’re impacted by opioid crisis than 2 years ago

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - Fifty-nine percent of New Yorkers say they’ve been touched by the opioid epidemic.

A Siena College poll released Monday shows that’s up from 54 percent two years ago.

Looking back over the last two years, 78 percent say awareness of the dangers of prescription pain medication has grown and 70 percent have seen lifesaving drugs available more often.

Over two-thirds, 69 percent, say that doctors are more careful in their prescribing and 57 percent say that treatment for opioid addiction is easier to obtain.

The survey is part of a community effort by Prescription for Progress: United against opioid addiction. It’s a coalition of leaders in health care, media, law enforcement, education, and business in the Capital Region.

Here are other poll results:

- Sixty-two percent believe it is not true that fewer people are dying from opioid overdoses and 64 percent say that the stigma associated with opioid abuse has not lessened in the last two years.

- Sixty-five percent, down from 83 percent in 2018, think that the problem of opioid abuse has gotten worse.

- New Yorkers overwhelmingly continue to support strengthening the prescription monitoring service

- Eighty-four percent are in favor of punishing doctors that are shown to over-prescribe opioids and expanding drug rehabilitation programs within correctional facilities.

- Sixty-three percent -- up from 59 percent -- favor increasing support to syringe exchange programs.

- Support for improving access to medications like methadone and buprenorphine as a way to wean addicts off other opioids rose from 60-68 percent.

- Support for increasing funding for supervised injection sites increased from 41 to 48 percent.

- Sixty-eight percent support allowing high schools to randomly drug test students provided they have parental approval.

The poll of 1,370 state residents 18 and older was conducted online March 3-21. It has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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