32 Percent of U.S. Adults Know Someone Who Died of a Drug Overdose

Experiencing overdose loss linked to greater odds of viewing addiction as an extremely or very important policy issue
funeral death mortality
Adobe Stock

MONDAY, June 3, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Thirty-two percent of U.S. adults report knowing someone who died of a drug overdose, according to a study published online May 31 in JAMA Health Forum.

Alene Kennedy-Hendricks, Ph.D., from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues quantified the scope of the drug overdose crisis in terms of personal overdose loss and assessed the policy implications of this loss in a cross-sectional study. A total of 2,479 people completed the survey; the final analytical sample included 2,326 people.

The researchers found that 32.0 percent of the respondents reported any personal overdose loss, representing 82.7 million U.S. adults. Overall, 18.9 percent (representing 48.9 million U.S. adults) reported having a family member or close friend die of drug overdose. Groups with lower income had higher prevalence of personal overdose loss (<$30,000: 39.9 percent; ≥$100,000: 26.0 percent). There was no difference seen in the experience of personal overdose loss across political party groups. After adjustment for sociodemographic and geographic characteristics and political party affiliation, experiencing overdose loss was associated with greater odds of viewing addiction as an extremely or very important policy issue (adjusted odds ratio, 1.37).

"This experience extended across the political spectrum, offering a potential avenue for increasing the mobilization of this group and the political feasibility of needed policy action to decrease overdose deaths," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

Related Stories

No stories found.