Surgeon General Issues Landmark Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health

The United States Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, unveiled his office’s long-awaited report, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, on November 17, 2016.

The report finds alcohol and drug misuse and severe substance use disorders, commonly called addiction, to be one of America’s most pressing public health concerns. Nearly 21 million Americans – more than the number of people who have all cancers combined – suffer from substance use disorders.

“Alcohol and drug addiction take an enormous toll on individuals, families, and communities,” said Dr. Murthy. “Most Americans know someone who has been touched by an alcohol or a drug use disorder. Yet 90 percent of people with a substance use disorder are not getting treatment. That has to change.”

The report marks the first time a U.S. Surgeon General has dedicated a report to substance misuse and related disorders. The report addresses alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescription drug misuse, with chapters dedicated to neurobiology, prevention, treatment, recovery, health systems integration and recommendations for the future. It provides an in-depth look at the science of substance use disorders and addiction, calls for a cultural shift in the way Americans talk about the issue, and recommends actions we can take to prevent and treat these conditions, and promote recovery.

Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, Executive Director of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, adds “This is a watershed moment. The U.S. Surgeon General’s report validates everything experts have been saying for years and adds an influential voice to the public discourse about the overwhelming substance use disorder crisis in America. This is the number one public health issue and we need to pay attention.”

“We have the opportunity to transform lives and strengthen communities by addressing our country’s addiction crisis,” said Dr. Murthy. “There could not be a more important time for us to act."

For the full report and executive summary, visit http://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, call 1-800-662-HELP or visit http://www.samhsa.gov/find-help.

______________________
Media Contact
Kristin Hamilton
khamilton@naadac.org
703.741.7686 x 131

NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, represents the professional interests of more than 85,000 addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused healthcare professionals in the United States, Canada, and abroad. NAADAC’s members are addiction counselors, educators, and other addiction-focused health care professionals, who specialize in addiction prevention, treatment, recovery support, and education. An important part of the healthcare continuum, NAADAC members, and its 47 state affiliates work to create healthier individuals, families and communities through prevention, intervention, quality treatment and recovery support.
Posted by Kristin Hamilton at 9:15 AM
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