New Poll Shows Americans Consider Marijuana Safer Than Cigarettes, Alcohol, and Opioids, and Less Addictive than Technology: APA Survey

Americans’ Perception of Marijuana Safety: New Poll Reveals Surprising Results

A recent survey conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and Morning Consult has shed light on Americans’ perspectives regarding the and addictiveness of various substances, including . The poll, which examined public opinion on six different substances along with , highlighted some intriguing findings.

According to the survey, a mere 38 percent of respondents regarded marijuana as “very or somewhat unsafe.” In stark contrast, the majority of participants considered cigarettes (84 percent), alcohol (64 percent), prescription opioids (66 percent), non-prescription opioids (75 percent), and vapes (76 percent) to be considerably riskier. Surprisingly, the only category perceived as safer than marijuana was technology, with only 23 percent describing it as very or somewhat unsafe.

When asked about addiction potential, 64 percent of respondents believed that cannabis could be addictive. Notably, this figure was lower than the corresponding numbers for other substances, including cigarettes (87 percent), alcohol (84 percent), prescribed opioids (83 percent), non-prescribed opioids (74 percent), vapes (81 percent), and technology (75 percent).

APA President Petros Levounis emphasized the effectiveness of conveying the dangers and addictiveness of cigarettes but expressed the need to address potentially addictive behaviors such as alcohol consumption and technology use. Levounis highlighted the alarming addiction potential of vaping, asserting that it is just as, if not more, addictive than smoking. Additionally, he emphasized the importance of raising awareness about safe and effective treatments for substance use disorders and behavioral addictions, emphasizing the effectiveness of addiction .

Regarding the causes of addiction, 47 percent of respondents attributed it to “personal weakness.” However, a significant majority of 76 percent recognized addiction as a medical condition, with 93 percent acknowledging that substance use disorders are treatable. Furthermore, 76 percent believed that addiction is preventable.

The survey also revealed that 71 percent of Americans claimed to know how to support someone struggling with addiction. However, although 58 percent reported awareness of the opioid anti-overdose drug naloxone, only 35 percent felt confident about accessing it in case of an overdose.

APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin underscored the urgency of addressing the opioid crisis, which claimed over 100,000 lives in 2022. Levin expressed encouragement regarding the public’s recognition of substance use as a treatable medical condition but stressed the need for increased awareness and accessibility of naloxone, a lifesaving intervention.

To combat addiction, the APA plans to launch a public awareness campaign focusing initially on vaping, followed by opioids, alcohol, and technology. Notably, the campaign does not mention including in its educational efforts.

The survey, conducted through interviews with 2,201 adults from April 20-22, revealed significant insights, with a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points.

In a -specific survey released in March, 77 percent of respondents expressed concerns about alcohol use as a serious public health issue, while 46 percent shared similar concerns about cannabis consumption.

These findings align with the shifting perceptions of alcohol and marijuana nationwide, with more people recognizing cannabis as a less dangerously addictive substance, particularly as more legalize it for medical and recreational purposes. Public education campaigns have also contributed to increased awareness regarding the potential harms associated with alcohol.

Previous polls have also indicated that individuals are increasingly turning to marijuana as an alternative to alcohol and various prescription medications. Another survey revealed that approximately one in five individuals participating in “Dry January” opted for cannabis as an alternative to navigate through the month.

Interestingly, a separate poll from last year demonstrated that more Americans openly admitted to using marijuana or cannabis-infused edibles compared to those who reported smoking cigarettes in the past week.

In conclusion, the recent poll provides intriguing insights into Americans’ of marijuana safety. With shifting and increasing awareness, it is essential to continue examining and addressing public opinion regarding substances and their associated risks.

Malvin Felix
I'm Malvin, a cannabis news enthusiast who finds joy in staying updated about the latest industry trends. My passion led me to become a dedicated writer, entrepreneur, and investor in the cannabis space. Through my writing, I aim to educate and spark discussions, while my entrepreneurial ventures and strategic investments reflect my commitment to driving positive change in the industry.

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