The first-ever report on substance use and addiction to be commissioned by a U.S. surgeon general is expected later this year, the Obama administration has announced .
The report is intended to be a comprehensive examination of the effects of drugs and alcohol on health and will include perspectives on the continuum of addiction care, as well as explore the epidemiologic, etiologic, and neurobiologic factors that contribute to substance use and addiction.
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy last year announced his intention to commission the report at a rally held in Washington to draw attention to the number of Americans affected by addiction. “We’re going to look at the best science on everything, from heroin and marijuana, to alcohol and prescription opioids,” Dr. Murthy said at the Unite to Face Addiction campaign last October. “We’ll use this report to find a way forward, together … because we know that we need a comprehensive approach. And we’re going to launch a national campaign to tackle the prescription drug crisis, because we know that someone dies from an opioid overdose every 24 minutes in this country.”
Data from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 21.5 million Americans aged 12 years or older met DSM-IV criteria for alcohol or illicit drug dependence or abuse. Meanwhile, despite expansions in health coverage because of the Affordable Care Act and greater attention to mental health parity, only 2.3 million people received treatment in the past year, the Department of Health & Human Services said Dec. 31, in a Federal Register notice confirming plans to issue the report.
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