Americans See Drug Addiction as Major Problem in their Communities

According to a new Pew Research Center survey, drug addiction is seen as a growing problem regardless of whether one lives in an urban, suburban or rural area. Nine out of 10 Americans who live in rural areas say drug addiction is a problem in their community. Likewise, 87 percent of those in urban areas and 86 percent in suburban areas feel the same, according to a survey conducted in March. The problem of drug addiction has drawn widespread attention as the United States confronts an opioid epidemic. Nationally, more than 63,600 people died of drug overdoses in 2016, the most recent year from which data is available. Opioid drugs, ranging from illegal street drugs such as heroin to prescription painkillers, have played an especially lethal role. About 66 percent of fatal overdoses in 2016 were caused by opioid drugs.