LOUISVILLE — New results from the Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) show many residents are aware of Kentucky’s drug overdose problem. Almost half (44 percent) of Kentucky adults know that overdose is the leading cause of unintentional deaths in the Commonwealth. Drug overdoses overtook motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of unintentional deaths in Kentucky back in 2010.
“An estimated 16 Kentuckians each week die from unintentional poisonings, and many Kentuckians recognize the magnitude of this problem,” said Dr. Susan Zepeda, President/CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.
KHIP highlights by region:
· Almost seven in ten (69 percent) eastern Kentucky residents identified drug overdoses as the leading cause of unintentional death when compared to traffic accidents, gunshots or any unintentional causes.
· More than four in ten (43 percent) residents in western Kentucky, and northern Kentucky (41 percent) identified overdoses.
· Almost four in ten (39 percent) residents in the Lexington region also identified overdoses as the leading cause of unintended deaths.
· Nearly three in ten (29 percent) of Louisville residents identified drug overdoses.
“Experts have reported significant prescription pain reliever abuse in Eastern Kentucky,” continued Zepeda. “It is no surprise that the Kentuckians most aware of this issue are those who are living in this region. Awareness is the first step towards curbing this trend – it is up to all of us to get involved and take action to reduce the toll of this health crisis.”
The KHIP was funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. The poll was conducted September 20-October 14, 2012, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of 1,680 adults from throughout Kentucky was interviewed by telephone, including landlines and cell phones. The poll has a margin of error of ±2.5 percent.