One of the nation’s top health care officials is hoping to add further heft to the fight against drug and alcohol addiction, with the issuance of what he calls a “landmark” report on the topic.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D., issued a 428-guide Thursday titled “Facing Addiction in America,” which offers a laundry list of ways health care and the rest of the country can begin to solve this “public health crisis.” Almost 21 million Americans suffer from addiction, Murthy notes, which is more than all types of cancer, combined. And yet only about 1 in 10 individuals receives treatment for their substance-use disorder.
Murthy offers a roadmap to address all types of substance use, including the nation’s opioid epidemic, which has killed more than 500,000 individuals since 2000. Letting go of stigma and treating it as disease is an important first step.
“It’s time to change how we view addiction,” he says in a press release. “Not as a moral failing but as a chronic illness that must be treated with skill, urgency and compassion. The way we address this crisis is a test for America.”
For more from this week's Weekly Reading lineup click here.