Surgeon General Releases Stigma Reducing Report on Addiction
Earlier this week, Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, released a report about the impact of the disease of addiction in the U.S. The statistics around how many of us are affected by substance use disorders are staggering, as well as the number of individuals who die from a disease that is treatable.
I found the most important aspect of the report to be where Murthy stated, “addiction is a chronic neurological disorder — a disease and not a “moral failing” or “character flaw” — and that cultural shift in the public’s attitude towards substance use disorders is critical.” We express this pretty frequently in our efforts at Brookhaven to educate professionals and laypeople that addiction is a disease of the brain. We have the science available to us proving this, and, yet, we continue to have the lingering effects of the old, outdated, and destructive moral model that blames the person. Not only is this inaccurate, it prevents the individual from coming forward, and getting the help they need to recover from this disease.