Intended for healthcare professionals


US must address addiction as an illness, not as a moral failing, Surgeon General says

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 22 November 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6265
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. Seattle

The US Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, has called for the country to address its epidemic of substance abuse and addiction as a public health problem and not as a moral issue.1

“It’s time to change how we view addiction,” Murthy said in a new report, “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.”

According to the report released on 17 November, …

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