USA Today Poll

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In May of 2006 HBO, USA Today and The Gallup Poll asked US adults, who have an immediate family member who has had a drug or alcohol addiction, a variety of question about addiction in general and the impact of addiction on their own lives.

The complete results from this study are provided here.

Key findings from the study are listed below:

  • Three-quarters of U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction think addiction is a disease.
  • Three-quarters of U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction think that people who are addicted to drugs can make a complete recovery from their addiction.
  • Eight out of ten U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction think that alcoholics can make a complete recovery from their addiction.
  • Over eight out of ten U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction think that alcoholics must totally abstain from alcohol to recover from their addiction.
  • Only a third of U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction think that there are medications available to treat alcoholism.
  • Emotional and Devastating/Horrible are the words that most often asked to describe the effects of a family member's addition.
  • Almost half of U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction say they have felt a sense of shame about that family member's addiction.
  • Among respondents opinions vary on the cause of drug and alcohol addiction.
  • Seven out of ten U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction say that a family member's addiction has had a major or minor effect on their emotional or mental health.
  • Almost one out ten of those who say a family member's addiction has had a major negative impact on their financial situation say they have had to take out a loan or run up credit card bills as a direct result of this addiction.
  • About a fifth of those who say a family member's addiction has had a major negative impact on their marriage, family relationships, or emotional health say they sought professional counseling.
  • While half of U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction say this addiction has brought their family closer, a third feel it has pushed them apart.
  • One third of U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction say the addiction has caused estrangement among family members.
  • Just over half of the respondents say the addicted family member has admitted their addiction to them, while just under half say they have not.
  • Seven out of ten of the respondents say they have personally confronted the family member about the addiction.
  • Four out of ten of the respondents say that their family member has overcome the addiction. One of out 10 think their family member wants to recover but, almost a fifth believes they do not.
  • Almost half of U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction say their family member has never sought treatment. Of those whose family member has sought treatment, three out of ten only sought treatment after intervention.
  • Eight out of ten respondents say they have some idea on how to find treatment for their family members addiction.
  • Over half of the respondents whose family member sought treatment say the family member had to repeat treatment.
  • Almost four out of ten of the respondents whose family member sought treatment say their family member completely recovered, but about six out of ten say their family member either showed no improvement or got better but did not completely recover.
  • Of those whose family member sought treatment, almost half say the family member relapsed and almost one out of ten say there was no improvement at all.
  • Family support/ pressure was most often cited as the primary reason the family member was able to overcome addiction.
  • Three quarters of the respondents say their family member is/was addicted to alcohol. The remaining quarter are/were addicted to a variety of drugs.
  • Only three out of ten respondents say their addicted family member consulted with a medical doctor or other medical professional specializing in the treatment of addiction.
  • Over half of the respondents say their addicted family member was never evaluated for psychological illness.
  • Slightly less than half of the respondents say their addicted family member currently has health insurance.
  • Just over half of the respondents whose addicted family member does have insurance think their insurance provides benefits for the treatment of drug or alcohol addiction.
  • Seven out of ten of the respondents whose addicted family member does have insurance think their insurance will provide adequate treatment of drug or alcohol addiction.

For a complete list of findings click here.









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