A new Siena Poll addressing the state's opioid epidemic shows that 54 percent of New Yorkers are personally touched by opioid abuse.
Director of the Siena College Research Institute Don Levy says there is no argument that this is an epidemic.
"When we said has it touched your life? Is someone in your family, is someone you are friendly with, someone you know from work, do you know someone who has died from an overdose...when you look and say how many people meet at least one of those conditions, its nearly six out of 10 New Yorkers, it’s an astronomical figure," Levy says.
The poll also showed one in four New Yorkers know someone that died of an opioid overdose: 24 percent surveyed personally know someone that has died of an overdose such as a friend or family member, but upstate that is slightly higher at 28 percent.
Levy hopes these numbers show people they are not alone in dealing with this.
"You’re not the only one, you don’t have to live in the shadows, you don’t have to be ashamed. This is a problem that is affecting all of us," he says.
Some 83 percent surveyed say opioid abuse has gotten worse in the past few years, while 4 percent think the situation has improved.
This poll is part one of a four-part series of opioid-related polling by Siena College.