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March 2017Vol. 18, No. 1Surgeon General Releases Report on Substance Misuse

Alcohol and drug misuse is a serious and widespread issue in the United States that can lead to devastating consequences for individuals, families, and communities. In 2015, 66.7 million Americans reported binge drinking in the past month, and 27.1 million Americans reported current illicit drug use or misuse of prescription medications, costing the country $400 billion a year for crime management, health care, and lost productivity. For this reason, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the Surgeon General issued a call to action with the report Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.

Facing Addiction in America describes a comprehensive approach aimed at policymakers, health-care professionals, and the public for combatting substance misuse and its consequences in the United States. The report outlines five key components:

  • Increasing awareness and promoting education about the problems caused by substance misuse and demanding more effective policies and practices to address them
  • Implementing more effective, evidence-based prevention strategies
  • Improving access to treatment services and integrating them into mainstream health care
  • Implementing recovery support services to help those with substance use disorders maintain remission and prevent relapse
  • Supporting research-informed public policies and financing strategies to ensure that substance misuse services are accessible, compassionate, efficient, and sustainable

The report also covers the neurobiology of substance use, misuse, and addiction; prevention models, programs, and policies; early intervention and treatment; pathways to recovery; how health-care systems deal with substance use disorders; and more.

Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health is available at (27,570 KB).