On November 17, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy released the first-ever Surgeon General’s report on the substance abuse health afflicting communities. The comprehensive report, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, reviews the science of substance use, misuse, and disorders, providing an in-depth look with chapters covering neurobiology, prevention, treatment, recovery, health systems integration, as well as recommendations for the future. It also calls for a “cultural shift in the way Americans talk about the issue,” and recommends actions that can be taken to prevent and treat these conditions, as well as promote recovery….
On September 18, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing, “Suicide Prevention and Treatment: Helping Loved Ones in Mental Health Crisis.” Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), a psychologist, explained that the hearing was an attempt to “take the conversation about suicide out of the dark shadow of stigma and into the bright light of truth and hope. Suicide is the deadly outcome of mental illness. Suicide is when depression kills. Suicide is an epidemic and its impact is staggering.”