Opioid crisis most important health issue in state, say West Virginians
West Virginians believe the opioid epidemic is the most important health issue in the state, followed by obesity and cancer, according to a state-based public opinion survey conducted by Zogby Analytics and commissioned by ReasearchAmerica.
Researchers surveyed more than 400 West Virginians in September. Out of 14 possible answers, 36 percent of respondents selected the opioid crisis when asked what the most important health issue facing West Virginians was. Twenty-two percent said obesity was the most important issue, and 16 percent said cancer was the most important — all other possible responses were below 10 percent.
"West Virginia is grappling with a public health crisis that requires increased support for research and innovative solutions to save lives and revitalize communities hit hard by the epidemic," said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of ResearchAmerica. "Both the public and private sector play critical roles in preventing and treating opioid use disorders in the state and nationally."
Additionally, 84 percent of respondents said prescription pain medication misuse is a major problem in their communities.