Almost half of Americans have dealt with substance abuse in family: Gallup

Almost half of Americans have dealt with substance abuse in family: Gallup
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Nearly half of U.S. adults say that substance abuse problems have affected someone in their family, according to a new Gallup poll released Monday.

Forty-six percent of respondents said they have experienced substance abuse in their family overall, with 18 percent reporting just alcohol problems, 10 percent reporting only drug problems and 18 percent reporting problems with both, according to Gallup.

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Gallup based the results on combined data from 2018 and 2019 across the firm’s annual Consumption Habits survey, which it conducts each July. The results cover whether substance abuse has ever been a problem within respondents’ families rather than whether it is currently.

Family problems with drinking hover at or near 35 percent across all adult age groups, according to the survey. More adults under 55 — 31 percent — said there has never been a problem with drug abuse in their families, compared to 24 percent of adults 55 and older who said the same.

The poll also found women are slightly more likely than men to report drug problems within their families, and that adults without a college degree are more likely, at 39 percent, to report family drinking problems than those with a degree, at 32 percent.

Residents of the Western U.S. were more likely than those of the eastern U.S. to report drinking problems, and more likely than Eastern or Southern residents to report drug problems in their families, but no other regional differences were statistically significant, according to Gallup.

Responses on family drinking and drug problems had no significant racial gap, although the survey only distinguished between non-Hispanic whites and nonwhites. Thirty-seven percent of non-Hispanic whites reported family drinking problems and 28 percent reported drug problems, compared to 35 percent and 29 percent of nonwhites, respectively.

The poll is based on a survey of 2,558 adults in all states and the District of Columbia conducted July 1-11, 2018, and July 1-12, 2019. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.