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A new Pew Research Center survey finds only 16 percent of Americans think the nation is making progress on prescription drug abuse, and 19 percent see progress in dealing with mental illness.

In contrast, 54 percent of Americans say the nation is making progress on cancer.

The survey found 35 percent of Americans say the nation is losing ground on mental illness, and 37 percent on prescription drug abuse. The public’s perception of progress against alcohol abuse is similarly gloomy. The survey found 17 percent see improvement in addressing alcohol abuse, while 23 percent say ground is being lost, and 58 percent say the problem is staying about the same.

The public’s outlook on smoking is more positive—45 percent of adults surveyed see progress in this area, and 13 percent think the nation is losing ground.

The findings are based on telephone interviews conducted among a national sample of 2,003 adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


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