Our nation’s surgeon general recently released a report, the first of its kind, dedicated to substance addiction, raising the profile of the epidemic and advocating proven treatment options. In this federal report—titled “Facing Addiction in America”—he advises fundamental change in treatment of substance addiction, emphasizing compassion.
Nearly 21 million Americans struggle with substance addiction. That’s one in seven who suffer addiction, with only 10 percent of those addicted receiving treatment. Every 19 minutes an American dies from opioid or heroin overdose. Dr. Vivek Murthy, surgeon general, stated that “we have to recognize addiction isn’t evidence of a character flaw or a moral failing. It’s a chronic disease of the brain that deserves the same compassion that any other chronic illness does, like diabetes or heart disease.”
Bryon Adinoff, an addiction psychiatrist at the University of Tex...
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