Details from the AP-NORC poll on drugs

AP News
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Posted: Mar 25, 2016 12:52 PM

A poll conducted by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows a majority of Americans consider substance abuse a significant problem in their communities. The nationwide poll of 1,042 adults was conducted over four days in February and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

Key findings:

MARIJUANA

Sixty-one percent of Americans say marijuana should be legalized. Among that group, 43 percent say legalization should come only with restrictions on the amount of pot that can be purchased, and 24 percent say it should require a doctor's prescription. The other 33 percent don't believe there should be any restrictions.

LEGALIZING OTHER DRUGS

Overwhelmingly, Americans oppose legalizing other drugs such as cocaine and heroin, with just 7 percent favoring legalization.

HOW SERIOUS A PROBLEM?

About a third of Americans consider heroin use, alcohol, prescription painkillers and others drugs such as cocaine and meth very or extremely serious problems in their communities. Only about a quarter believe marijuana use is a very or extremely serious problem.

WHAT'S MORE RISKY?

About half — some 52 percent — believe prescription pain relievers and heroin are about equally risky to use.

WHAT ROLE DO DOCTORS AND DENTISTS PLAY?

Most Americans believe doctors' and dentists' prescribing practices play some role — either minor or major — in contributing to a dependence on prescription pain relievers and drug overdoses.

NARCAN

Narcan, also known as Naloxone, can prevent people from dying if they are overdosing on a prescription painkiller or heroin. Some states have made the drug available to adults without a prescription while other states restrict its sale because they believe it will encourage the use of illegal drugs.

More than half of those surveyed, 57 percent, believe access to the drug should only be allowed with a prescription.