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U.S. Public and Doctors'* Misperceptions Revealed in National Survey Demonstrate Urgent Need for Increased Opioid Dependence Awareness
Date:6/11/2013

RICHMOND, Va., June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the growing population of individuals living with opioid dependence (addiction) and significant media coverage about this U.S. epidemic, a new national survey reveals both U.S. adults and primary care doctors harbor a variety of misperceptions and stereotypes about opioid dependence that may impact the way the disease – and those living with it – are treated.  The survey,+ which involved more than 1,000 adults ages 26-49 ("adults") and 200 non-Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA) 2000 certified primary care doctors ("doctors"), was conducted online by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. to understand U.S. attitudes about opioid dependence – also known as prescription painkiller and heroin addiction – and treatment for the disease.

Opioid Dependence Misunderstood as a Disease
Nearly half (47%) of all adults surveyed reported having a personal connection with addiction and almost one-in-eight (12%) personally struggled with addiction – more than diabetes (7%) or cancer (3%).  Two-thirds of adults (68%) and nearly nine-in-ten doctors (87%) agree opioid dependence affects millions of Americans and three-quarters of adults (76%) and the majority of doctors (96%) are aware misuse or abuse of opioid prescription painkillers poses a significant burden on the U.S. healthcare system. While nearly nine-in-ten doctors (88%) recognize addiction as a disease, only about six-in-ten adults (59%) agree.  In fact, over two-thirds (68%) of adults and eight-in-ten doctors (80%) say opioid dependence represents a mental health problem, and nearly half of adults (45%) and almost one-third of doctors (30%) believe opioid dependence is more of a psychological problem (e.g., lifestyle choice) rather than a physical illness (e.g., chronic disease).

Doctors Perpetuating Disease Stigma  &#
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SOURCE Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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