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Three-Fourths of Americans See Link Between Narcotic Painkillers and Addiction: Poll

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A new poll finds 78 percent of Americans say they believe there is a link between drug addiction and narcotic painkillers, NPR reports.

The findings come from a nationwide poll conducted by NPR and Truven Health Analytics. The poll found 54 percent of all respondents said they had previously taken narcotic painkillers.

Slightly more than one-third of people who had taken narcotic painkillers had concerns about them, compared with 30 percent of those who had not taken the drugs. Addiction was respondents’ top concern about narcotic painkillers, followed by side effects.

About one-quarter of respondents said they had refused or questioned a prescription for an opioid, about the same rate as in a similar poll conducted in 2011, the article notes.

Fifty-four percent of those polled said potent painkillers such as Zohydro, a pure form of hydrocodone, should be available.

Some states want to ban Zohydro. Earlier this year more than 40 addiction treatment, health care and consumer groups urged the Food and Drug Administration to reverse its decision to approve Zohydro. The drug is designed to be released over time, and can be crushed and snorted by people seeking a strong, quick high. The opioid drug OxyContin has been reformulated to make it harder to crush or dissolve, but Zohydro does not include similar tamper-resistant features.

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