Nearly one in three Americans knows someone who has died from drug overdose, according to new research

About one in three Americans has lost someone to a drug overdose, according to a new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Researchers surveyed more than 2,300 adults, and 32% reported knowing someone who died from an overdose. Nearly 19% of respondents said the deceased was a family member or close friend.

Researchers suggest that mobilizing those who have lost loved ones to drug overdoses could drive policy change. “Experiencing personal overdose loss was associated with greater odds of endorsing addiction as an important policy issue,” the study states.

Last week, Emily’s Hope reported on new research estimating that 321,566 children in the US lost a parent to a drug overdose between 2011 and 2021. The highest rate of parental overdose deaths was among non-Hispanic American Indians and Alaska Natives, with non-Hispanic Black parents aged 18 to 25 experiencing the largest increase in overdose deaths.

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that more than 107,000 Americans died from illicit drug use in the past year.