Opioid Abuse Poll

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Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute and Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication have released their latest poll, this one focused on opioid abuse in Arizona. Thom Reilly, director of the Morrison Institute, will tell us about the poll results.

TED SIMONS: ASU'S MORRISON INSTITUTE AND THE WALTER CRONKITE SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATION HAVE RELEASED A POLL THAT FOCUSES ON OPIOID ABUSE IN ARIZONA. HERE TO TELL US ABOUT THE SURVEY IS MORRISON INSTITUTE DIRECTOR, THOM REILLY. GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.
THOM REILLY: THANKS FOR HAVING ME.
TED SIMONS: THIS IS A SURVEY ON PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLERS. WHAT DID YOU LOOK AT HERE?
THOM REILLY: WE DEFINED PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLERS AS OXYCODONE AND VICODIN.

TED SIMONS: PERVASIVENESS STILL THERE?
THOM REILLY: THE FINDINGS SHOW A WIDE-SPREAD EPIDEMIC MANIFESTS ITSELF ACROSS A WIDESPREAD DEMOGRAPHIC. BECAUSE WE TRACK KAISER, WE SEEM TO MIRROR THE NATIONAL TRENDS.
TED SIMONS: WE SEE HOW EASY IT IS TO GET THESE PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLERS. 60% BELIEVE IT'S EASY TO GET THEM?
THOM REILLY: THAT'S LEGAL OR ILLEGAL. THEY COULD HAVE GONE TO THEIR DOCTOR OR MULTIPLE DOCTORS OR TAKEN IT ILLEGALLY IN THE COMMUNITY.
TED SIMONS: THAT'S WITH EFFORTS TO RESTRICT AVAILABILITY?
THOM REILLY: PARTICULARLY WITH THE MEDIA AWARENESS OF HOW ADDICTIVE OPIATES ARE. THE PERCEPTION IS, IT'S EASY TO GET.
TED SIMONS: ANOTHER GRAPHIC, FOUR IN TEN KNOW SOMEONE ADDICTED. DOES THAT SURPRISE YOU?
RANDALL FRIESE: CLOSE FRIEND, ACQUAINTANCE OR FAMILY MEMBER. AGAIN THEY MIRROR NATIONAL TRENDS ON THE EPIDEMIC.
TED SIMONS: ONGOING PAIN INCREASES BY AGE. ARE WE SEEING THOSE THAT ARE ADDICTED INCREASING BY AGE?
THOM REILLY: WHAT I FOUND INTERESTING IS THAT A THIRD OF THE POPULATION IN ARIZONA HAVE INDICATED THAT THEY HAVE EXPERIENCED SIGNIFICANT PAIN IN THE LAST YEAR. 70% CHRONIC PAIN. THAT'S ABOUT A MILLION ARIZONANS DEALING AND STRUGGLING WITH CHRONIC PAIN.
TED SIMONS: WITH THAT INFORMATION OUT THERE, IS IT NECESSARILY A BAD THING THAT THESE FOLKS ARE GETTING RELIEF FROM THEIR PAIN BY WAY OF PRESCRIPTION PAIN PILLS?
THOM REILLY: SOME OF IT IS LEGITIMATE AND APPROPRIATE. WE SAW A THIRD OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS ARE GETTING IT THROUGH THEIR PRESCRIPTION IN A PRESCRIBED MANNER. ANOTHER THIRD ARE LOOKING AT OVERTHE COUNTER DRUGS. A THIRD ARE USING MARIJUANA, ACUPUNCTURE. 17% WERE USING EXERCISE. I KNOW THEY ARE TRYING TO PROMOTE ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES.
TED SIMONS: SIX IN TENABLE ABUSIVE PAINKILLERS MAKE HEROIN USE MORE LIKELY.
THOM REILLY: ILLEGAL PRESCRIBED ASSOCIATING WITH AN ILLEGAL DRUG LIKE HEROIN. THAT GOES TO THE AWARENESS ABOUT OPIATES AND HOW ADDICTIVE THEY BECOME IF OVERUSED.
TED SIMONS: THERE IS AWARENESS BUT DOCTORS TELLING PEOPLE ABOUT THE RISK, ONLY 28% SAY THEY HAVE BEEN WARNED BY THEIR DOCTORS.
THOM REILLY: FOR THOSE 65 AND OLDER, LESS THAN 17%. WE ARE DEALING WITH AN OLDER POPULACE NOT WARNED BY THEIR DOCTORS.
TED SIMONS: 28% AT RISK. YOUR STUDY HAD 8% USED WITHOUT A DOCTOR'S OKAY. AS FAR AS LOCKING UP MEDICATION ONLY A QUARTER.
THOM REILLY: IF WE GO TO 65 AND OLDER, LESS THAN 10%. THEY PERHAPS DON'T HAVE CHILDREN, BUT THEY HAVE CARETAKERS, KIDS COMING OVER. THERE ARE LOW PERCENTAGES KNOW HOW ADDICTIVE THE DRUG IS AND HOW FEW TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO LOCK IT UP.
TED SIMONS: "CRONKITE NEWS" HAD JOURNAL DOCUMENT. THIS WAS SEEN BY OVER A MILLION PEOPLE. EVERY STATION RAN THIS THING. THE INFORMATION IS OUT THERE. SOUNDS LIKE -- WHAT DO WE TAKE FROM THE SURVEY?
THOM REILLY: IT'S WIDESPREAD. ARIZONA IS NO DIFFERENT THAN WHAT IS OCCURRING NATIONALLY, USE, ABUSE AND KNOWLEDGE OF THOSE USING IT. TAKE AWAYS, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE STRUGGLING WITH CHRONIC PAIN AND HOW WE PROMOTE OTHER ALTERNATIVES BECOMES IMPORTANT. IT APPEARS FEW PHYSICIANS ARE INFORMING THEIR PATIENTS ABOUT THE ADDICTIVE NATURE. BECAUSE IT'S ADDICTIVE, NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE LOCKING IT UP.
TED SIMONS: THANKS FOR BEING HERE.
THOM REILLY: THANKS.

Thom Reilly: director of the Morrison Institute

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