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Surgeon General’s Report Summary – Introduction

Surgeon General’s Report Summary – Introduction
Surgeon General’s Report Summary – Introduction

Due to the large amount of information contained in the Report Facing Addiction In America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, I felt the need to leave out a large chunk. My goal in writing this summary was to include the information that I felt would be most beneficial to people in recovery, without the information overload. I did my best to give a brief overview of this information, and I hope I did it justice.

Please note, while I did write this summary, 99% of the information was taken from the Report. I do not take credit for any information contained in this summary, except for the small percentage of my own thoughts in my chapter 6 summary on the state of our health care here in the U.S.

I did not write this summary to get praise or recognition. I wrote this summary because I feel the information contained in the Report is vital for those of us in recovery, our families, friends, and communities where we live. Information that should be shared.

Throughout, the Report provides examples of how individuals, organizations, and communities can partner to lessen and eliminate substance misuse. These efforts have to start now. Change takes time and long-term commitment, as well as collaboration among key stakeholders. As the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, I encourage you to use the information and findings in this Report to take action so that we can improve the health of those we love and make our communities healthier and stronger. (Pg. II)

Sylvia Mathews Burwell


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

One of the key components found throughout this Report is prevention. Prevention and intervention is stressed many times throughout this Report. Prevention and intervention can start at home, through a conversation with your kids. It can start at the doctor’s office. It can start with a friend or family member. Another key component found in this Report is, recovery is not only possible, but sustainable.

Substance misuse is one of the critical public health problems of our time. The most recent data on substance use, misuse, and substance use disorders reveal that the problem is deepening and the consequences are becoming more deadly than ever. There is an urgent need to raise awareness about the issue. At the same time, we need to spread the word that substance misuse and addiction are solvable problems. We can, and must, inspire and catalyze action on this crisis.

The addiction problem touches us all. We all need to play a part in solving it. The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health provides a roadmap for working together to move our efforts forward. I hope all who read it will be inspired to take action to stem the rising tide of this public health crisis and reduce the impact of substance misuse and addiction on individuals, communities, and our nation. (Pg. III)

Kana Enomoto

 Principal Deputy Administrator

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

This summary is broken down into seven separate posts for each of the seven chapters contained in the Report. I have provided a link in each post which will take you to the corresponding chapter if you wish to read more.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this summary, and hope that the information contained in this summary, as well as the Report, sparks a change in this great country of ours. This change can, and must, start with us. As individuals in the recovery community, as well as family and friends affected by addiction. I leave you now with parting words from our (former) Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy.

We must help everyone see that addiction is not a character flaw – it is a chronic illness that we must approach with the same skill and compassion with which we approach heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

I am proud to release The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. As the first ever Surgeon General’s Report on this important topic, this Report aims to shift the way our society thinks about substance misuse and substance use disorders while defining actions we can take to prevent and treat these conditions.

Above all, we can never forget that the faces of substance use disorders are real people. They are a beloved family member, a friend, a colleague, and ourselves.

How we respond to this crisis is a moral test for America. Are we a nation willing to take on an epidemic that is causing great human suffering and economic loss? Are we able to live up to that most fundamental obligation we have as human beings: to care for one another?

With The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, I am issuing a new call to action to end the public health crisis of addiction. Please join me in taking the actions outlined in this Report and in helping ensure that all Americans can lead healthy and fulfilling lives. (Pg. V to VI)

Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A.

Vice Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service

Surgeon General

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