have the same access to addiction treatment moving forward. 

Education Lights the Way

Dr. Murthy identified education as the key to overcoming the substance abuse epidemic in the United States.

One section of the report, which focuses on the neurobiology of addiction, describes the mechanisms that make addictive behavior so difficult to overcome. He also emphasized the importance of speaking with your children about substance abuse as early as possible, given that a person who starts drinking liquor before age 15 is four times more likely to develop an addiction to alcohol than those who don’t drink until they’ve reached the legal age limit of 21.

In particular, Dr. Murthy advocated for a change in the stigma associated with addiction. He emphasized that addiction qualifies as a brain disease, and that the presumption that substance abuse is somehow connected with a moral failing has done nothing but prevent those who need treatment from receiving it.

An Enlightened Legacy

Dr. Murthy, who was appointed by President Obama, may not be serving as Surgeon General for much longer; hopefully the extensive information contained within his report continues to inform the United States as the ongoing battle with addiction continues. By alleviating the myriad misconceptions that surround substance abuse, the country can face and overcome the menace of addiction.