U.S. Surgeon General: Addiction is a Clinical Disease, Not a Moral Issue

It’s not often that the U.S. Surgeon General releases a sweeping report on a major public health issue. (The last one was issued before President Nixon took office.)

That’s why people took notice last week when Dr. Vivek Murthy, the leading spokesperson on matters of public health within the federal government, issued a landmark report chronicling one of the most pressing concerns of our time, the disease of addiction.

While awareness of the epidemic of addiction has been on the rise in recent years, this report effectively places the magnitude of the addiction epidemic into context – and backed with volumes of data. (For example, 20.8 million people are struggling with a substance use disorder – more than the number of people with diabetes and cancer combined.)

In, “Facing Addiction in America,” this expansive analysis explores the wide-ranging and often devastating effects of substance use and abuse on our nation including its influence on rising healthcare costs, lost productivity and the increase in co-morbid behavioral health issues.

Within the 400+ page report, it describes the extent of substance abuse within the nation, how it physically alters the circuitry of the brain and the proven efficacy of clinical intervention and treatment.

And, it culls data from a variety of sources in a plea to convince Americans that a broader, cultural shift is needed. Namely, we shouldn’t turn our back on those dealing with addiction issues.

In contract, the report suggests that greater emphasis should be placed on the importance and efficacy of treatment. It supports that addiction is a disease of the brain and a new perspective is needed to treat it with the same resolve and determination as other chronic, medical conditions. Using an evidence-based approach it can – and should be effectively managed with the help of medications and therapy.

To learn more about the recommendations placed forth by the office of Dr. Murphy, you can read the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health online here.

Custom Rehab Programming Informed by the Most Current Clinical Research and Guidelines

At Infinity Malibu, we offer evidence-based treatment for substance abuse, co-occurring conditions, and coexisting behavioral disorders. Our team of clinicians and licensed therapists can develop a customized plan of care using scientifically-proven treatment protocols including dialectical behavior therapy, psycho-educational groups and cognitive-behavioral therapy. To begin the admissions process or discuss addiction treatment for a friend or loved one, call (888) 266-9048.

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