December 9, 2016 – Report on Drugs


Anchor lead: The Surgeon General has issued a report on substance abuse, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Use of opioids is just one of the issues in the recently released Surgeon General’s report on addiction, which also covers multiple other drugs, including alcohol, and calls for a cultural change in both perception of addiction as well as treatment.  Eric Strain, a drug abuse expert at Johns Hopkins, says this report is important for several reasons.

Strain: I think it helps to focus us, both as a medical profession and a culture, to put a stamp on it saying this is a problem we need to be thinking about. So it helps to focus us, to galvanize us hopefully, to set forth a research agenda and a cultural agenda for how we’re going to approach these disorders. And what we do at a preventive level as well as a research and a treatment level that perhaps we haven’t had before.  :27

Surgeon General’s reports have been credited with bringing awareness to public health crises, and with overdose deaths at almost 50,000 in 2014, it’s not a moment too soon.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.