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Inflation remains the top issue of concern for Americans, but the public is getting increasingly worried about other topics in the news cycle, notably the fentanyl-fueled drug crisis and the solvency of Social Security.

Those are the top-line findings of Gallup’s annual Environment survey conducted in March and released on Thursday.

Six in 10 Americans told the pollster they worry a “great deal” about inflation and the economy, topping the list of worries as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates in a bid to tame the situation without undermining growth in the overall economy.

“Inflation and the economy have been the top two issues in both 2022 and 2023, as the rate of price increases in the U.S. reached levels not seen in four decades,” Gallup said.

Elsewhere, pollsters noted two notable trends. Nearly half of Americans (46%) worry a great deal about drug abuse, the highest share in the past three years.

Concern about drug use had fallen since 2019 but inched back up this year, increasing 8 points since last year.

“The increase is perhaps tied to higher rates of opioid drug overdose, particularly among teens, many tied to the drug fentanyl,” Gallup said.

Congressional lawmakers and the Biden administration are sounding the alarm about Mexican cartels who process fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, into fake pills and sell them in the U.S. Unsuspecting users who think they are popping an Adderall or a different drug can overdose and die.

Concern about drug use is far below historical trends — 58% ranked it as a major concern in 2001 — but there has been a recent uptick among Americans in all political parties. The concern is up 10 points among Republicans, 12 points among Democrats and 6 points among independents.

Similarly, concern about the financial solidity of Social Security — the income program for seniors —  is increasing.

About 38% worried a great deal about the program back in 2020 and 40% in last year’s survey, and now 45% do.

Gallup says the issue gained “added prominence during President Joe Biden’s 2023 State of the Union address, when he challenged Republicans to commit to protecting Social Security as the GOP looks for ways to cut federal spending.”

GOP lawmakers were furious with Mr. Biden and said cuts to the federal pension system are not on the table, a response the White House interpreted as a negotiating victory.

The high point in worry about Social Security was 53% in 2010, according to pollsters.

Despite trends in those two issues, things like the availability and affordability of health care (54%), crime and violence (54%), federal spending and the deficit (52%) and hunger and homelessness (50%) rank just behind the economy as the biggest concerns.

The Gallup survey was conducted among more than 1,000 adults from March 1 to 23 and had a margin of error of 4 points for the full sample.

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