November 28, 2016
The U.S. Attorney, Vivek Murthy, has issued a report upon the subject of substance abuse. He brought up several pivotal points in regard to substance abuse that need to be addressed. His report focused upon the widespread prevalence of addiction and the different factors regarding it. The surgeon general reporting upon this is an important step in the right direction toward raising overall awareness in regard to addiction.
Murthy addresses one of the most critical issues in the realm of addiction that needs to be improved upon. That is the fact that barely any individuals are actually receiving treatment in relation to the overall amount of those who are struggling with addiction. In fact, according to his report only about 10 percent of those struggling with substance abuse have received specialty treatment. This large disparity shows that not enough is being done to get these individuals help. He goes on further to state that more than 40% of those who have abused a substance also struggle with mental illness difficulties, and yet less than half of them receive any treatment for either condition.
Reducing the Stigma of Addiction
One large issue that he broached was the public viewpoint in regard to addiction. There is an absolute stigma about addiction within our society, and this causes many to have a very negative viewpoint of addiction and those struggling with it. Murthy addresses the fact that within our contemporary society addiction is viewed as a moral failure rather than a health issue. People look at addicts with shame and disdain, rather than viewing addiction as a health condition that needs to be treated. The surgeon general urges a shift from this viewpoint. He calls for looking at addiction more as a health issue, which would include screening for addiction during routine doctor appointments. This would allow more individuals who are struggling to be helped sooner. It also would provide more preventative means to catch addiction before it goes further downhill. He compares other conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, and the fact that the treatment for these is not held off until it is full blown as is done with addiction.
A large reason that many do not seek treatment, even when they realize they need it is due to the negative public opinion of addiction. They feel that they may be berated or shamed by the public and their loved ones for being an addict.
An important distinction in his report in comparison to others that have been done is the wide scope of it. Many reports focus on a single type of substance and the prevalence of it, such as opiates. But Murthy goes on to address addiction overall, including drugs and alcohol. Although opiates have been one of the larger growing issues, that is not the only addictive substance that people are struggling with. Addiction overall is a progressing issue for our country, not just a single substance.
Are You or a Loved One Seeking Help with an Addiction?
Always remember that receiving treatment for addiction is something that should never be put off until later. It is progressive and generally continues to worsen overtime. Seeking help for an addiction does not have to be a long and arduous process. We are here to help streamline the process so that you or your loved can attend treatment as soon as possible. We work to help find the absolute best fit in a treatment center for whoever is struggling. Do not wait, give us a call today.