Thursday, November 14, 2013

Americans believe we are losing ground on mental illness and prescription drug abuse

The Pew Research Center just released a new report showing that Americans think we are losing ground in the treatment of mental illness and the battle against prescription drug abuse. The report found the following:

When it comes to mental illness, just 19% say the nation is making progress in dealing with the disease while 16% say it is making progress on prescription drug abuse. Significantly more Americans say the country is losing ground on these two problems (35% on mental illness, 37% on prescription drug abuse). Those are the most pessimistic measures for any of the seven public health issues included in the survey.

Deaths from prescription drug abuse are in the rise, according to the CDC. In an effort to deal with the problem, the FDA recently recommended stricter controls on popular and frequently prescribed painkillers, such as Vicodin.

Relatively few Americans (17%) also think progress is being made in combating alcohol abuse, but a lower number (23%) say ground is being lost than in the cases of mental illness or prescription drug abuse. About six-in-ten (58%) say the alcohol abuse problem is staying about the same, while 23% say the country is losing ground on dealing with alcohol abuse.