America has been waging a war on drugs for decades. Yet, the face of that war has shifted drastically over the past ten to twenty years. Now, opioids have the invaded US lives and homes to such a degree that most Americans do not have to look too far to see the influence of these dangerous substances. One new nationwide survey even touches on how many Americans currently are impacted by opioid addiction within their own families.
New Survey Reveals the Impact of Opioid Addiction on American Families
The American Family Survey is an annual nationwide poll conducted by the Deseret News in partnership with the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy. The study reveals the attitudes of Americans about such things as family life, marriage, parenting, and important issues that affect their lives.
According to the 2017 survey, five percent of adults surveyed report being addicted to opioids or heroin and over twice that figure (12 percent) report that they have an opioid-addicted family member. The study is a nationally representative poll of 3,000 adults, and the co-authors stress that these figures are based on perception. For example, there may be underreporting on both fronts as those addicted do not want to admit a problem and some are not aware of a family member’s issue.
The Impact of Addiction on Addicts and Their Families
The recent survey also measured the effect that addiction has on those addicted as well as their families. People who reported that they suffered from addiction were more likely than those who do not to admit experiencing financial crises over the past year. Also, about 12 percent of those who said they had economic difficulties admitted being addicted to opioids.
Family members also feel a significant impact when a loved one has an opioid addiction. About 21 percent of those surveyed who admitted having an addicted family member also said that it had a major negative impact on their own physical and mental health. One in ten reported a negative effect on their own jobs and 24 percent said there was a major negative impact on family relationships, all from the substance abuse issues of a loved one.
Getting Help For Opioid Abuse With Drug Addiction Treatment
When a loved one has a drug addiction issue, family members choose to address these problems differently. According to the same survey, the most common response to addiction (36 percent) was to confront the drug abuser. Some loved ones also seek education on addiction (35 percent), and still others decide to get their own counseling (20 percent). Roughly one-fourth chose to do nothing at all, which could be a mistake.
While addicts must take some action to make changes, this can be a challenge when they are lost in their addiction. Confronting loved ones with an addiction issue and giving them the opportunity to seek treatment is often the best choice for all involved. The Recovery Village offers a personalized drug addiction treatment program that combines medical detox with counseling services to create a solid foundation for recovery. Contact us now to speak with one of our addiction specialists about our programs and learn about admissions for yourself or your family member.