United States Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has taken unprecedented action regarding the opioid crisis plaguing the nature. Dr. Murthy mailed letters to 2.3 million prescribers nationwide urging physicians to utilize their “unique power to help end this epidemic.” Dr. Murthy’s letter provides doctors strategies to address the opioid crisis and asks that they treat addiction as a “chronic illness, not a moral failing.” Dr. Murthy’s actions comes during a time when opioid overdoses are rising nationwide, spurred by prescription painkiller and heroin abuse. According to the CDC, 78 Americans die from an opioid overdose each day.
The Surgeon General told CBS last week, “I think this is one of our greatest public health threats and it’s the one that we have to respond to with speed and with urgency.” Although doctors are only part of the problem, he believes that they have the ability to improve the dire situation. In his letter he expands on three opportunities for physicians to make an impact: “First, we will educate ourselves to treat pain safely and effectively. A good place to start is the TurnTheTideRx pocket guide with the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline. Second, we will screen our patients for opioid use disorder and provide or connect them with evidence-based treatment. Third, we can shape how the rest of the country sees addiction by talking about and treating it as a chronic illness, not a moral failing.”
Although these are just suggestions, and completely voluntary, the Surgeon General believes America’s physicians can truly make a difference in the opioid epidemic. He believes that physicians can become part of the solution, rather than the problem.
If you are struggling with an opioid addiction, know that help is available and recovery is possible. Addiction Intervention Now is here to help you receive the support and treatment you desperately need and deserve. Call us today at (800) 208-8680.