Drug abuse and addiction is definitely not something new in America. It is has been an issue for more than 30 years. The biggest unknown fact is the amount of deaths the drugs cause, and which drugs are causing the most deaths. When you think of drug overdose, you would immediately think of the common crack, heroin, and cocaine. Every other lethal drug almost goes unknown.
A recent report from Dr. Vivek Murthy, titled “Facing Addiction in America”, states that there are 78 people that die from opioid overdose, every day. Murthy says that 20.8 million people have a substance use disorder of opioid, while only 10% of the people get treatment for the disorder. The report goes further on to say, “Substance use disorders represent one of the most pressing public health crises of our time. For far too long, too many in our country have viewed addiction as a moral failing. This unfortunate stigma has created an added burden of shame that has made people with substance use disorders less likely to come forward and seek help.”
Murthy’s Facing Addiction in America is the publication released by a surgeon general that addresses drug and alcohol addiction; even though the same findings have been reported by other federal agencies. When Murthy wrote the 400-plus-page report, his goal was people’s attitude towards addiction. It is similar to when a surgeon general issued the 1964 historic report about the dangers of smoking.
When the director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and Research for Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Eric Strain talked with NBC News about Murthy’s report, he said, “That really helped to focus us as a culture and as a medical profession. This is a report that likewise hopefully will galvanize us to say, ‘Hey, these are conditions that are medical problems. We have a database and approaches that can help.’”