Poll: 26% in NKY Know Someone Affected by Heroin

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THE ENQUIRER | TERRY DEMIO | JUNE 25, 2015

If you’re from Northern Kentucky, chances are you feel pretty good about your health. Better than most in Kentucky.

You are more likely than your commonwealth neighbors to know someone who’s been affected by heroin use.

You probably don’t want smoking in public places.

That’s what the summary of the 2014 Kentucky Health Issues Poll that was released Thursday by Interact for Health and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky shows. The survey is an annual look at residents’ health-related experiences and thoughts, and it’s been released, topic by topic, since January. Jennifer Chubinski, vice president of Innovation and Learning for Interact for Health, said it guides the nonprofit’s work.

“The end result will be stronger Northern Kentucky communities with healthier individuals living in them,” Chubinski said.

She said the summary report shows that Northern Kentucky residents are working hard at being healthy, with health-related initiatives large and small throughout the area.

A big difference between Northern Kentucky residents’ responses and Kentucky as a whole had to do with heroin use. Here, 26 percent reported they knew someone who had problems with heroin use. That compares with just 11 percent statewide. The next highest was in Louisville, which was at 13 percent.

Also in Northern Kentucky, 28 percent of adults said a family member or friend has had problems as a result of abusing prescription pain medicine such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet or codeine. That’s higher than the nearly 24 percent who reported this. But overall, Northern Kentucky’s responses have remained stable over the years, reports show.

The 2014 polling shows 52 percent of Northern Kentucky residents described their health status as “excellent” or “very good.” The state as a whole stood at 41 percent.

Regarding smoking laws, 63 percent of Northern Kentucky residents said they want a smoke-free law, with 35 percent balking. That’s jumped since the first poll in 2010, when 40 percent favored a statewide law. Support statewide has grown too, from 48 percent in 2010 to 66 percent in 2014.

And for those puffing vapor: Most Northern Kentucky residents, 54 percent, said e-cigarettes should get an excise tax that’s similar to cigarettes. That number was consistent statewide, with 53 percent of Kentucky adults in favor of adding an excise tax to e-cigarettes. Also, 61 percent throughout Kentucky said the FDA should regulate the sale and marketing of the smokeless cigarettes.

Also hand-in-hand with statewide respondents, 57 percent of Northern Kentucky residents said the Affordable Care Act hasn’t had any impact on them.

About the poll:

The 2014 Kentucky Health Issues Poll is funded by Interact for Health and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. It was conducted Oct. 8-Nov. 6, 2014, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of 1,597 adults from throughout Kentucky was interviewed by telephone. In 95 out of 100 cases, the statewide estimates will be accurate to plus or minus 2.5 percent and Northern Kentucky estimates to plus or minus 5.5 percent.

Source: Interact for Health.

See the whole report at InteractforHealth.org.

More information about Northern Kentuckians’ opinions, reports from other Kentucky regions and other topics, are available at www.interactforhealth.org/kentucky-health-issues-poll.

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