Surgeon General Issues Report on Substance Abuse in America
November 18, 2016
The U.S. surgeon general
released Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, a comprehensive report detailing the state of substance abuse
in America and proposing sustainable solutions to address the public health
The first report of its kind, it has the same sense of urgency
as the report released in 1964 that shaped public attitudes and the
government’s response to the growing evidence of the health impacts of smoking.
The hope is that this report will provide information and inspiration so that
the public, policymakers, and health care systems can work to address the
individual and public health consequences associated with alcohol and drug misuse.
The report addresses the issue of substance abuse as a
public health issue and brings focus to enormity of the problem. For example,
one in five seven Americans suffers from a substance disorder, one in five regularly
binge drinks, and substance disorders cost the U.S. more than $420 billion a
This report covers the major categories of abused substances
including alcohol, illicit drugs, and over-the-counter drugs that cause health
and social and substance use disorders. It includes recommendations for
improving public awareness, implementing evidence-based treatment services, and
In an effort to change attitudes towards addiction by both
the public and policy makers, the report provides an entire chapter on the neurobiology
that causes addiction. The goal is to demonstrate the scientific basis of
addiction and replace the stigma of addiction as a moral failing.
The report also provides evidence based prevention programs
that will inform policy and funding actions as federal and state authorities
look to reduce the risk of addiction in all populations.
For more information, contact HAP’s Michael Consuelos, MD, senior
vice president, clinical integration.