A new report by the Surgeon General has discovered that alcohol and drug misuse and severe substance addiction is one of the nation’s crucial health concerns.
“Alcohol and drug addiction take an enormous toll on individuals, families, and communities,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said. “Most Americans know someone who has been touched by an alcohol or a drug use disorder. Yet 90 percent of people with a substance use disorder are not getting treatment. That has to change.”
The report is the first by the Surgeon General to address substance misuse and abuse. It focuses on alcohol, illicit drugs and prescription drug misuse. One in seven people are expected to develop substance abuse disorders.
“Although substance misuse problems and use disorders may occur at any age, adolescence and young adulthood are particularly critical at-risk periods,” Murthy said. “Preventing or even simply delaying young people from trying substances is important to reducing the likelihood of a use disorder later in life. It’s time to change how we view addiction. 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.”