Surgeon General Calls Addiction A Chronic Brain Disease

Posted: Nov 18 2016, 4:36am CST | by , Updated: Nov 18 2016, 4:47am CST , in Latest Science News


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Addiction is a Chronic Brain Disease Claims US Surgeon General
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  • Addiction is a Chronic Brain Disease Claims US Surgeon General

The surgeon general has spoken up regarding the scourge of addiction being a disease of the brain. He reiterated that it was not a failure of morality on the part of the addict.

Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general of the United States, remembers when he left his job as a doctor to move on to greener pastures, the nurses begged him to do something about the problem of addiction.

Murthy recently kept that promise of his by issuing a report on the matter. It categorically states that there ought to be a cultural shift in how we think about addiction.

For eons, it has been thought that addiction was due to the moral failure of the patient. However, now Murthy has said in the report that it is actually a disease and deserves proper treatment like cardiac disease, diabetes and cancer.

This report has come at a time when there is a great deal of controversy surrounding the subject. With the Trump administration ready to deal with the problem, such a report will come in handy at this particular time in our history.

Currently, the situation is such that drug overdoses account for more deaths than vehicular accidents. This is in particular caused by the opioid surge. Prescription painkillers have killed off more than 200,000 people since 1999.

Also heroin addiction is on the rise. This all serves as a warning sign that all is not well. The lengthy report issued by Murthy is not unlike a similar report which came out in 1964 and dealt with smoking and health.

This was the famous report that discovered the link between cigarette smoking and cancer. Murthy has termed his report as a novel clarion call. Action instead of words are the focal point.

The recommendations given in it may help addicts in the recovery process. More than 20 million Americans are in the throes of substance abuse disorder, HuffingtonPost reported.

The stigma that is attached with drug addiction cannot be easily erased. Like mental illness, the negative connotations associated with it are hard to get rid of.

Addiction it turns out is a brain disease. Murthy is counting on Donald Trump to lead the way in the eradication of addiction from America. The President-elect lost a brother to alcoholism and so he may be more than ready to finish off this scourge that haunts America to this day.

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