Updated Jun 16, 2018 - Health

By the numbers: 42% of millennials know someone affected by opioids

oxycodone pills

42% of millennials in the U.S. say they personally know someone who has dealt with opioid addiction, according to a new NBC News/GenForward poll.

Why it matters: Millennials, ages 22 to 37, are expected to make up the largest generation in the U.S. by 2019. Overdose deaths are causing this group of individuals to die at a faster rate that those over 50 years old, according to the CDC.

By the numbers

  • White male and female millennials have been affected by the opioid epidemic the most — 54% know someone who is caught in the issue.
  • 30% of black millennials say they know someone who has dealt with an opioid addiction. Asian-Americans 26%. Latinos 23%.
  • More people who live in the Northeast part of the U.S. said they know someone who has dealt with opioid addiction than any other region. But about 40% of millennials in the Midwest, South and West still said yes to knowing someone.
A graph of people who personally know someone who's dealt with opioid addiction

What to watch: Opioid addiction is one issue that has Republicans and Democrats equally concerned. The House will vote on bills related to the opioid epidemic next week.

  • The party make-up is almost half of Republican millennials know someone who has dealt with opioid addiction, the survey says, adding that 42% of millennial Democrats and 37% of Independents saying they know someone who has dealt with it.
  • How the House votes of those bills may affect future access to treatment, opioid prescription policies and potential crackdowns of imported fentanyl.

The bottom line is that four out of 10 millennials, the generation that brings up the rear in America's workforce, voting power and parenthood, are directly and indirectly affected by the opioid epidemic.

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