Nearly 3 in 10 Philadelphians Know Someone Who’s Died From Opioid Use, Survey Finds
PHILADELPHIA — In a stark illustration of the depths of Philadelphia’s opioid crisis, a new survey of city residents found that nearly a third — 29% — know someone who has died from opioid use.
The survey, conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts among 600 Philadelphians this spring, was an attempt to fill in some of the gaps that still exist in data surrounding the crisis.
“We have the death rates,” said Larry Eichel, the director of Pew’s Philadelphia Research Initiative — 1,217 overdose deaths in 2017 and 1,116 in 2018, the vast majority of them from the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl. “But there wasn’t much data of the impact of the crisis on residents in the neighborhoods. That’s what we wanted to look at.”
He was surprised, he said, by how deeply the crisis has affected the entire city.
White respondents were most likely to have known someone who died from opioids — 40% of white survey respondents, 27% of Hispanic respondents, and 21% of black respondents said they knew a person who had died from opioid use. Residents of the River Wards, which include the Kensington neighborhood that is the epicenter of the city’s overdose crisis, were most likely to have lost someone to opioids.
Among age groups, 30- to 49-year-olds have lost more acquaintances, friends, and family than any other in the city: 42% said they knew someone who had died from opioid use.
Still, Eichel said, even though some groups were more affected than others, the crisis is cutting across large swaths of the population, affecting all incomes and all education levels almost equally.
Thirty-one% of respondents said they knew someone with an opioid addiction, with white Philadelphians, people between 30 and 49, and residents of the River Wards and South Philadelphia most likely to say so.
Forty-one% of Philadelphians surveyed — and 64% of River Wards residents — said that the opioid crisis has negatively affected the quality of life in their neighborhood.
“The impact is felt more intensively in the River Wards, but it’s pretty substantial in lots of places,” Eichel said. “Yes, the crisis is felt more strongly in some parts of the city, and by some groups of people, but it’s felt by everybody.”
©2019 The Philadelphia Inquirer
Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.inquirer.com
In The News
POLITICAL ADS New Ads Stress Evers’ Response to COVID Tony for Wisconsin announced a six-figure ad buy in media markets across Wisconsin. “Steady Leadership” promotes Gov. Evers’ leadership in tough times, getting support and supplies to families, farmers, and communities in need during COVID-19. The ad... Read More
POLITICAL ADS Republicans Point to Corrupt Lobbyists and Billionaires The National Republican Congressional Committee is running a new ad in IL-13 attacking Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan saying her campaign is being funded by corrupt lobbyists. The National Republican Congressional Committee is running an ad in TX-23... Read More
WASHINGTON — The House swiftly passed a stopgap funding measure needed to avert a partial government shutdown in eight days after top congressional leaders reached a deal resolving a fight over farm payments. On a lopsided vote of 359-57, the House sent to the Senate a... Read More
WASHINGTON — Just days before the Aug. 3 scheduled start of school, officials at the Athens Independent School District in East Texas received a shock. Cybercriminals had attacked the district’s entire computer network, encrypting all the data and demanding $50,000 in ransom for its release. Access... Read More
China appears keen to bring piracy back as an instrument of foreign policy, but the days of eye patches and wooden legs are long gone. Instead, Beijing’s most effective raiding parties prefer business suits and briefcases, thus allowing them to ransack and plunder under the guise... Read More
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on Tuesday broke tradition, his own recent departmental guidelines and — according to Democrats — campaign law by addressing the Republican National Convention to endorse President Donald Trump during an official visit to Israel. With the glistening domes... Read More