Gun violence has dropped to Americans’ third greatest perceived threat to public health, behind both opioids and obesity, Axios reports, citing the Axios-Ipsos American Health Index. The perceived threat of gun violence appears to be more acutely tied to specific events like widely covered mass shootings while opioid misuse or obesity is more of a constant worry. Noticeably fewer Democrats listed gun violence as their top concern. "It's still definitely a top-tier concern, but lacks the consistent focus we see with opioids," said Mallory Newall of Ipsos. Where a person lives is a big factor; substantially more people in rural areas rank opioids and fentanyl as a top concern than those in urban and suburban areas, who are more likely to rank firearms high on their list.
Fewer than half of respondents said they're somewhat or very familiar with record-high drug overdose deaths, the ongoing shortages of some cancer drugs or the Food and Drug Administration's approval of over-the-counter birth control. They said they cared about those issues when asked about them. However, economic concerns also have made the public highly sensitive to drug prices and matters like insurer coverage of mental health care. Eighty-nine percent somewhat or strongly back health insurers covering mental health care at the same levels as physical health care.