Later this week, the United States Surgeon General will release “The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.” Some are comparing Dr. Vivek Murthy’s report to the Surgeon General’s report on smoking in the 1960s.
A seismic disruption of that size and scope would be a needed boost to the addiction challenge in America. However, most of us have yet to read the report. And, like anything from the federal government, it is important to remember that recommendations will not be quickly implemented.
Face It TOGETHER welcomes Dr. Murthy’s attention to addiction as both a health and community problem, which he underscored in last year’s TEDMED talk. We hope that his recommendations to the nation involve shattering the silos of care that have plagued the addiction treatment system in the U.S., resulting in lost lives, destroyed families, and ravaged communities. We hope the report highlights the need for education throughout the community that will be the catalyst for widespread social change. We hope the Surgeon General looks beyond the traditional treatment and recovery supports and envisions multi-dimensional long-term care embedded in every community sector. And, we hope that Dr. Murthy compels a reluctant industry to share data and collaborate on outcomes tracking related to the impact of addiction services on all stakeholders.
Regardless of what the Surgeon General’s report says, Face It TOGETHER will continue building its national network of community addiction management organizations and working to establish a standard measure for addiction wellness. These elements are critical to creating a much needed national operating system for addiction care in the U.S. We anticipate that Dr. Murthy’s conclusions and recommendations validate the path Face It TOGETHER has been on since 2008.
Look for our reaction to the report later this week.