Doctor speaks about addiction crisis - WNEM TV 5

Doctor speaks about addiction crisis

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

The nation's top doctor is taking on the addiction crisis gripping the country. He issued a landmark report on substance abuse and related disorders.

The report from the surgeon general placed drug and alcohol addiction as a health crisis alongside smoking, aids and others. He called the current epidemic a moral test for America.

"The professional medical education system really has to change to teach this new way," Dr. William Morrone said.

Morrone has made a career of treating drug addicts. He believes addiction is a disease, not a decision. His way of thinking falls in line with Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

Murthy's latest report "Facing Addiction in America" states 20 million Americans have a substance abuse disorder.

"If we leave it a moral failing, none of these people are going to get better and all the abstinence based therapy has failed for the last five decades," Morrone said.

Morrone hopes Murthy's replacement will continue much of what has already been established in addiction treatment, including changing the way drugs are prescribed and expanding access to medication assisted treatment facilities.

"The Trump person that comes in will be the right person if he has already embraced that and that's part of the skill and the understanding that he brings," Morrone said.

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