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Friday, November 18, 2016

Addiction: A Call for Action

It's been a busy week when it comes to raising the profile of addiction and advocating proven treatment options. A first-ever report dedicated to addiction, titled "Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health," was just released on Thursday. 

Similar to the landmark Surgeon General’s report on smoking and tobacco, this report is set to change our national conversation and improve the health of Americans. But this time around, the topic is addiction – and how prevention, treatment, and recovery are all possible. 

"The most important thing is, we have to change attitudes towards addiction and get people into treatment," Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general, said in an interview. "Addiction is a disease of the brain, not a character flaw." 

Some highlights of the report include: 
  • One in seven Americans will face substance use disorder, but only 10% of those addicted receive treatment.
  • Every 19 minutes an American dies from opioid or heroin overdose.
  • The economic impact of drug and alcohol misuse and addiction amounts to $442 billion each year — topping diabetes at $245 billion.
In similar news, CNN ran a letter penned by Dr. Mehmet Oz and co-authors that urges President-elect Trump to focus his energy and resources on addiction and, in particular, opioid addiction. Part of the plea read: 

“Simply put, there is no reason we shouldn't approach addiction with the same focus and determination we do diabetes, heart disease or cancer.... [We] implore you, the 45th president of the United States, to make addiction a top priority in your administration. With millions of American lives on the line, how we respond to this crisis is a moral test for America; and how our next president responds to this crisis is a moral test for you, Mr. Trump.”

To correspond with the Surgeon General’s report, Dr. Oz also held a “National Night of Conversation,” urging “everyone across the country to have dinner with the people they care about and to break the silence on drugs and addiction by discussing it.” He created a printable guideline to help start the conversation at anytime.

Don’t Wait to Get Help
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, Hope Academy is here to help. Our addiction treatment programs provides young adults with the tools needed to recover from drug or alcohol abuse, build confidence, and develop life skills for lifelong sobriety. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673.

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