The poll found 11 percent of Kentucky adults reported having family and friends who have had issues with heroin, up from 9 percent in 2013. Regionally, the figures were 26 percent in Northern Kentucky; 13 percent in the Louisville area; 11 percent in the Lexington area; 8 percent in Eastern Kentucky and 7 percent in Western Kentucky.
Meanwhile, Twenty-four percent of Kentuckians reported knowing a family member of friend who had problems as a result of prescription pain reliever abuse, down from 32 percent in 2011. The margin of error for the poll of 1,597 randomly selected adults is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, applicable to each number.
People from 18 to 29 are most likely to have a friend or family member who has experienced problems related to drug use, according to a release from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which co-sponsors the survey.
“Kentucky ranks fifth in the nation for drug overdose deaths, behind only West Virginia, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico,” the release said. “Drug overdose deaths per capita have quadrupled since 1999, surpassing motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in Kentucky.”
The poll was conducted between Oct. 8 and Nov. 6 by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati.