Fifty years after the landmark Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy announced over the weekend that he has commissioned the first ever Suregon General's Report on substance use, addiction, and health. The report is due out next year.
“I’m here to say that we won’t hide from this issue because it’s hard for some to talk about. Because we know there was a time in this country when it was hard to talk about smoking, about AIDS, and about mental health,” Murthy said at the UNITE to Face Addiction Rally in Washington D.C. last Sunday. “But we were fortunate enough to have leaders who stood up and said: It’s time for us to have a conversation in this country that’s based on facts; A conversation that’s based on medicine and science.”
Murthy said that the report will act as a sproingboard for formulating a comprehensive, federal response to addiction.
“We’ll use this report to find a way forward, together,” he said. “Yes, we’ll focus on treatment and recovery. But we’ll also focus on prevention. Because we know that we need a comprehensive approach.”
Murthy, who previously worked at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass., said that when he left his post there the nurses that he worked with urged him to make addiction a priority during his term as Surgeon General.
“So you all have my word,” he told the crowd at UNITE. “As long as I am in this office; as long as I am wearing this uniform – I will stand with you. I will stand up for recovery. And we will face addiction together.”
Read Murthy's entire speach from the rally here.