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US drug problem ‘extremely’ or ‘very serious’: Poll

31 October 2016 6:54

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The majority of Americans continue to believe drugs are a serious problem in the United States, according to a new poll.

Gallup’s annual Crime poll found that 65 percent of people in the US describe the problem of illegal drugs as “extremely” or “very serious.”

In previous Gallup polls, Americans have frequently mentioned drugs as one of the most important problem facing the country.

“The US has long struggled with problems coming from the sale and use of illegal drugs, such as drug-related crime and drug addiction,” Gallup said.

The United States is suffering from a “huge epidemic” of heroin addiction, as cheap supply has pushed the number of users to a 20-year high and increasing drug-related deaths, according to the United Nations.

The number of heroin users in the US reached around one million in 2014, almost three times as many as in 2003, according to the UN’s annual World Drug Report released in June.

Drug abuse in the United States has reached “epidemic levels” where they are the leading cause of injury-related deaths, surpassing car accidents and gun violence, according to a US government report released last year.

About 46,470 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2013, the last year which data was available, while 35,369 people were killed in traffic-related accidents and 33,636 were killed by guns, based on figures from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Drug overdose deaths have also risen sharply in the last ten years, up more than 50 percent from 30,711 fatalities in 2004.

According to recent findings by researchers, middle-aged white people in the United States have suffered a startling rise in death rates since 1999, most likely because of problems with legal and illegal drugs, alcohol and suicide.

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