Surgeon general report: ‘Addiction is not a character flaw’

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UNDATED (AP) — A new U.S. surgeon general report calls for a major cultural shift in the way Americans view drug and alcohol addiction.

President Barack Obama’s surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, released the report today. It details the toll addiction takes on the nation and explains how brain science offers hope for recovery.

The report seeks to inspire action and sway public opinion in the style of the 1964 surgeon general’s landmark report on smoking. It says addiction is a chronic illness, not a character flaw or a moral failing.

With President-elect Donald Trump taking office, it’s uncertain whether access to addiction treatment will improve or deteriorate. Trump and the Republican-led Congress are pledging to repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which made addiction treatment an essential health benefit.


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