On November 17, 2016, the Office of the Surgeon General released Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs & Health. This historic, first-ever report was unveiled at Facing Addiction in America: A National Summit. During the Summit, which is available for viewing, some of the nation’s leading experts discussed the report, which features seven chapters:
- Introduction and Overview of the Report describes the extent of the substance use problem in the United States and describes the purpose, focus, and format of the Report.
- The Neurobiology of Substance Use, Misuse, and Addiction describes three main circuits in the brain involved in addiction, and how substance use alters the normal function of these circuits. Understanding this transformation in the brain is critical to understanding why addiction is a health condition, not a moral failing or character flaw.
- Prevention Programs and Policies describes a range of programs focused on preventing substance misuse, including universal prevention programs that target the whole community as well as programs that are tailored to high-risk populations. It also describes population-level evidence-based policies that are effective for reducing
alcohol and drug misuse.
- Early Intervention, Treatment, and Management of Substance Use Disorders describes evidence-supported practices to identify people who have a substance use disorder and engage them in treatment, as well as the range of medications and behavioral treatments that can help people successfully address substance use
- Recovery: The Many Paths to Wellness describes the growing array of effective services and systems that provide recovery support and the many pathways that make recovery possible.
- Health Care Systems and Substance Use Disorders explains why integrating general health care and substance use disorder services can result in better outcomes and describes policies and activities underway to achieve that goal.
- Vision for the Future: A Public Health Approach provides concrete, evidence-informed recommendations on how to reduce substance misuse and related harms in communities across the United States.
To help public health professionals better understand and promote the messages in this report, the Office of the Surgeon General created a partner toolkit that includes the following supplementary materials:
- Summary Report and Terminology Sheet
- Fact Sheets for Various Audiences (e.g., families, communities, healthcare, government)
- Sample Promotional Materials (e.g., blogs, emails, social media posts, e-newsletters)
- Promotional Video and Graphics for Digital Channels
If you have questions about the report and what it could mean for local health departments, please contact Ian Goldstein, NACCHO Government Affairs Specialist.