Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health

The recently released Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health discusses approaches to effectively address the public health crisis of substance misuse and substance use disorders. “How we respond to this crisis is a test for America,” states Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, the 19th U.S. Surgeon General. 

The report charges individuals, educators, organizations, policymakers, and communities to work together to prevent substance misuse and support wider access to treatment and recovery services, so that all Americans can fulfill their potential and lead happy, healthy, and productive lives.

Emphasis on Medical Education

As a partner of the White House initiative on opioid prescription education, AACOM, along with its member colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs), remains committed to fighting this national epidemic.

The OME community plays a pivotal role in advancing addiction medicine. To date, 28 U.S. osteopathic medicine schools are part of the more than 60 medical schools across the nation that have pledged their support to the White House’s initiative to escalate the fight against the prescription opioid abuse and heroin epidemic, which is claiming the lives of tens of thousands of Americans each year.

As part of the pledge, these COMs are now requiring students to take some form of prescriber education, in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, in order to graduate. In light of this effort, AACOM encourages the OME community and beyond to explore the insights and recommendations included in the Surgeon General’s report.

The launch of the historic report, The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, addresses the issue in clear and understandable language. The report highlights that everyone has a role to play in changing the conversation about substance use to improve the health, safety, and well-being of individuals and communities across our nation.

Visit the website to review the report and related materials.