Siena Research Institute survey sheds light on opioid crisis

April 15, 2018 11:45 AM

More than two million Americans are addicted to opioids.

That's clearly a crisis. But what does that mean to you and your family? To get that answer, a first of it's kind survey was recently completed involving nearly 1,400 people statewide.

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The results of the web-based poll are striking. Personal impact, treatment access, law enforcement response. Those were among the topics the Siena College Research Institute asked about in a groundbreaking poll.

The survey is a cornerstone of a community endeavor called Prescription for Progress: United Against Opioid Addiction.

NewsChannel 13 is partnering with The Times Union and other stakeholders to better assess the scope of the opioid crisis and craft ways to tackle it.

“The next time you're walking down the street just count to 10 and of those, six people's lives have been touched by opioid abuse,” said Dr. Don Levy of the Siena College Research Institute.

Both here in the Capital Region and across New York state. That's just one of the eye opening findings in a first of it's kind, comprehensive look at the scope of the opioid crisis by the Siena College Research Institute.

But the figure that really rocked the researcher was the one looking at how many people personally knew someone who died from an opioid overdose.

“One out of four people both across the entire state of New York as well as here in the Capital Region. One out of four. That to me was shocking,” Levy said.

As Levy points out, HIPAA laws surrounding medical records often prevent researchers from getting a sharper picture of the toll of this crisis. And if police aren't called when there's an overdose death, that life lost to drug abuse may not be noted as such.

“We have to make it abundantly clear to the entire public that this is a crisis that is very, very difficult for people to handle on their own. These are highly addictive drugs,” Levy said.

The survey was of the general public. Now, Siena is polling folks on the front lines of the opioid crisis. Every week, findings will be released and we'll share them as NewsChannel 13 continues its partnership with Prescription for Progress: United Against Opioid Addiction.

More on the survey:

Charts and graphs

Statewide crosstabs

Capital District crosstabs


WNYT Staff

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