Poll: NKY adults more likely to know someone addicted to heroin - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Poll: NKY adults more likely to know someone addicted to heroin

(FOX19 NOW file) (FOX19 NOW file)
NORTHERN KENTUCKY (FOX19) -

Adults in Northern Kentucky are the most likely of any region in the state to say they know someone with problems from heroin use.

The poll, conducted by Kentucky Interact for Health, shows the harsh realities of the local heroin epidemic.

"northern Kentucky's community response to heroin - we've been very open with it.  Everybody knows it's a problem," said Emily Gresham Wherle, with the NKY Health Department.

More than 1 in 10 Kentucky adults, 13 percent, know someone with problems from heroin use. That percentage nearly triples to 35 percent for northern Kentuckians.

"The openness that we've taken as a community to work together toward solutions, is part of the reason that these polls numbers are showing such a high level of awareness," Wherle said.

Kentucky ranks second in the nation for the most drug overdose deaths per capita, according to KHIP. Since 2008, more Kentucky adults have died each year from drug overdoses than from motor vehicle accidents.

Eric Specht is one of them. Heroin killed his son Nicholas.

"He died in our home of an overdose in our bathroom," Specht said.

From there, a movement to save lives known as "NKY Hates Heroin" was born.

"They made the conscious decision to jump in that pool, but by God they cannot get out of it and they're not going to be able to get out of if just by thinking about it.  There's going to be some help.  They need some support," Specht said.

The health department said they are working working on more treatment options and to stop the spread of infectious diseases through needle exchanges.

More from the KHIP Drug Misuse study:

Young adults more likely to know someone who has used heroin

Young adults are more likely than older adults to report having friends or family members who had problems as a result of using heroin. One in 4 adults ages 18 to 29 (25 percent) reported knowing someone who had problems due to heroin use. This compares with only about 1 in 10 adults 30 to 45 (12 percent), 46 to 64 (10 percent) and 65 and older (7 percent).

1 in 4 knows someone who had misused prescription drugs

KHIP also asked, “Have any of your family members or friends experienced problems as a result of abusing prescription pain relievers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet or codeine?” One in 4 Kentucky adults (25 percent) said yes. The percentage of adults who reported knowing someone who had problems due to prescription drug abuse has remained steady since 2013.

In Northern Kentucky, 3 in 10 adults (30 percent) reported knowing someone with problems as a result of prescription drug misuse.

White adults and those of lower income more likely to know someone who had misused prescription drugs

White adults (26 percent) were three times more likely than African American adults (9 percent) to report knowing someone who had problems due to prescription drug abuse. Likewise, adults earning less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) (29 percent) were more likely than adults earning more than 200% FPL (23 percent) to report this. About 3 in 10 adults ages 18 to 45 (32 percent) knew someone who had problems due to prescription drug misuse. This compares with about 2 in 10 adults 46 to 64 (23 percent) and fewer than 2 in 10 adults 65 and older (16 percent).

Copyright 2016 WXIX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly