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One in three Texans knows someone addicted to prescription painkillers, poll says

July 31, 2018

AUSTIN — One in three Texans knows someone addicted to prescription painkillers, according to a new poll that depicts the reach of the opioid crisis in the Lone Star State.

White and wealthier Texans are more likely to know someone who has suffered drug addiction, according to the 2018 Texas Lyceym issue poll released Tuesday.

While the opioid crisis has hammered states in the Midwest and Northeast, Texas isn’t immune. More than 1,170 Texans died in 2015 from overdosing on opioids, the highest number in over a decade, according to state data. Bexar and Harris Counties accounted for at least 111 and 239 of the overdose deaths that year, respectively.

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The poll found differences along demographic and income lines. One in two white Texans know someone who has been addicted to prescription painkillers, compared to just one in four Hispanic and black respondents, the poll found. In addition, 42 percent of those who make more than $40,000 a year reported knowing someone addicted to opioids, compared to just 30 percent of those who make less.

The annual issue poll by Texas Lyceum focused this year on health care, a hot button issue in Texas where roughly 16 percent of residents are uninsured — the highest rate in the nation.

About half of Texans surveyed think Americans are less healthy than they were 20 years ago. And while most agreed more people in Texas should be insured, respondents disagreed over who is responsible: government, individuals or private industry.

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Few Texans, however, feel the government is adequately addressing problems in health care, the poll found. Most respondents said they have little or no trust in the federal government’s ability to do what’s best for Texans. More than half of respondents disapprove of President Donald Trump’s handling of health care issues, the poll found.

The poll by the nonprofit surveyed 1,170 adults between July 9 and 26.

Allie Morris is a staff writer in Austin. Read her on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | amorris@express-news.net | Twitter: @MorrisReports

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