New poll finds majority of Kentuckians believe addiction is a disease

04/25/2018 10:45 AM

LOUISVILLE- A new Kentucky Health Issues Poll finds that seven out of 10 adults in Kentucky believe addiction is a disease. The poll found that those in urban areas were more likely to have this belief, as opposed to those in rural areas. Residents in the Lexington area were the most likely to view it as a disease.

Kentucky Health Issues Poll is an annual opinion poll of adults in Kentucky, funded jointly by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health.

“The number of drug overdose deaths here jumped 12 percent from 2015 to 2016,[i] and hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians misuse pain relievers and illicit drugs every year,” said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “Treating addiction as a disease, and then working together to magnify the treatment programs that are working, is the only way we are going to move from our substance use crisis to long-term recovery – both for individuals, and for the Commonwealth.”

Kentucky is one of the state’s hit hardest by the opioid abuse epidemic. An estimated 162,000 Kentucky adults misuse pain relievers, and 293,000 use illicit drugs, according to the 2015-2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The 2015 Behavioral Health Barometer for Kentucky found that in one day in 2015, 23,565 Kentuckians were enrolled in substance use treatment up from 20,481 in 2011.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky annual Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum will explore the substance use epidemic in Kentucky and examine the latest solutions. It will be held September 24 in Lexington.

To view the full KHIP report click here. .

Michon Lindstrom

Michon is a producer for Pure Politics. Michon comes to Kentucky from Springfield, Illinois where she served as the statehouse reporter for the NBC affiliate. During her time in the Land of Lincoln she covered the state’s two year budget impasse and the largest school funding overall in Illinois history. Pure Politics airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Michon on Twitter at @MichonLindstrom or reach her by email at


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