Southern Utah survey: Fighting opioid addiction more important than education, health care, affordable housing

Composite image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — To better understand Southern Utah’s population and its concerns, Southern Utah University commissioned a public policy poll.

The survey, commissioned by Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service, DataWise and Venture Data, had 400 responses and provided questions regarding issues facing Southern Utah residents. The survey featured questions on the economy, financial situations, job growth and Southern Utah’s potential for young people building a future.

“Southern Utah, in and of itself, is different from Northern Utah,” said Mary Bennett, director of the Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service. “We know the geography is different; the economy is different and the politics are different.”

The poll surveyed 13 counties: Beaver, Emery, Garfield, Grand, Iron, Kane, Millard, Piute, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevier, Washington and Wayne. It had a 4.9 percent margin of error.

According to the survey results sent to St. George News, 28 percent of respondents marked environment as a concern in Southern Utah, with water issues and flooding as the substantial concern. Other concerns on the survey were low wages/lack of jobs and too much growth/development.

On a scale of extremely important to not important at all, respondents ranked a list of issues facing Southern Utah residents. Below are the results for issues ranked as important:

  • Protecting Southern Utah’s water supply: 92 percent.
  • Fighting opioid addiction: 75 percent.
  • Improving the quality of education in K-12 public schools: 73 percent.
  • Preservation of the state’s natural resources: 61 percent.
  • Improving access to quality health care: 68 percent.
  • Improving the economy in Southern Utah: 67 percent.
  • Improving the availability of affordable housing: 56 percent.

Although some of the results of the survey were released at SUU’s Rural Summit, Bennett said, the university has plans to release more of the data in the near future and use it to work with local and state government officials.

“We’re also sharing it and working with local governments across Southern Utah, helping them identify what issues to work on and what solutions may be the best for them to work on.”

Email: mheckenliable@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @markeekaenews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

1 Comment

  • Red2Blue August 9, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Opiods ARE a part of healthcare, or should be.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.