Key Attitudes on Addiction from National Survey

person filling out surveyA recent national survey of attitudes toward addiction performed by Hazelden contains some encouraging news: 

  • 77% of Americans agree that addiction treatment should be part of healthcare reform (though many are unsure if their own insurance plan covers it); and
  • 78% of Americans "understand that drug addiction is a chronic disease rather than a personal failing."

These statistics are significant for anyone trying to mobilize community support for increasing treatment availability and recovery support for youth struggling with drugs and alcohol. However, the study also made clear that even though Americans understand that addiction is a chronic disease, there's still an enormous amount of stigma attached to drug-users, which can make it difficult for them to seek help and stay in treatment. 
Other interesting discoveries from the survey include the fact that 79% of respondents don't think the War on Drugs has been successful; 77% believe that addicts can lead productive lives after completing treatment; and 83% think first-time drug offenders should get treatment instead of "prison time."
Now we just need to get public policy to catch up to public attitudes ...

Updated: February 08 2018