March 30, 2016
Heroin may be the drug attracting front-page New York Times stories, primetime television investigations, and attention from US presidential candidates, but alcohol is the drug that worries Americans most, a recent AP-NORC survey found.
<p><img alt="" src="https://alternettest.wpengine.com/files/screen_shot_2016-03-30_at_2.12.50_pm.png" style="height: 365px; width: 600px;"/></p><p>As this chart from <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/28/americas-biggest-drug-threat-is-100-legal/">the Washington Post‘s Wonkblog</a> makes clear, more Americans are concerned about alcohol use in their communities than they are about the use of prescription drugs or heroin.</p><p>This makes sense, when you consider data around rates of use and deaths associated with alcohol and heroin. Drinking is much more pervasive than heroin use: Nearly 90 percent of Americans say they’ve had a drink in their life, but fewer than than <a href="http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_1943/ShortReport-1943.html">1 percent </a>say they’ve tried heroin.</p><p>And while <a href="https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates">heroin-related overdoses</a> (including those deemed suicide or homicide) killed more than 10,000 people in 2014. Alcohol-related deaths average more than <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm">80,000</a> per year.</p>
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