Surgeon general: Addiction is a chronic illness, not character flaw

In what may be his last significant act as President Barack Obama’s surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy released a report Thursday calling for a major cultural shift in the way Americans view drug and alcohol addiction.

The report, “Facing Addiction in America,” details the toll addiction takes on the nation — 78 people die each day from an opioid overdose; 20 million have a substance use disorder — and explains how brain science offers hope for recovery. While its findings have been reported elsewhere, including by other federal agencies, the report seeks to inspire action and sway public opinion in the style of the 1964 surgeon general’s landmark report on smoking.

AOR Advisor Patrick J. Kennedy said, “Addiction should be a bipartisan issue,” and we need to work together to break the stigma to help more Americans suffering from this disease get the treatment and recovery they need. Read the full Associated Press article.

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