U.S. Surgeon General Urges Clinicians to Fight Prescription Drug Epidemic

Sep 14

U.S. Surgeon General Urges Clinicians to Fight Prescription Drug Epidemic

View the complete press release on HHS website.

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy sent a letter to 2.3 million health care providers asking them to help fight the nation’s prescription opioid epidemic. The surgeon general urged clinicians to visit his recently launched website, Turn the Tide, where they can pledge their commitment to combating opioid misuse by:

  • Enhancing education for treating pain
  • Screening patients for opioid use disorder
  • Leading a shift in the public perception of addiction so that it is treated as chronic illness rather than a moral failing

The letter also includes a pocket card outlining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) opioid prescribing guidelines. This is the first time that a U.S. Surgeon General has sent a letter directly to health care professionals asking for their support in addressing a public health crisis. Dr. Murthy states that “We often struggle to balance reducing our patients’ pain with increasing their risk of addiction. But as clinicians, we have the unique power to help end this epidemic.”

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