The epidemic of opioid use disorders is a subject that has been in the news nearly every day for months. In what may be the most significant development in the public health crisis, Dr. Vivek Murthy, the Surgeon General of the United States, has sent out a letter to ALL doctors across the country on the subject.
The letter represents the first widespread effort by such an influential medical figure to educate physicians about the risks of prescribed opioid painkillers.
Doctors are being asked to pledge to:
- Educate themselves to treat pain safely and effectively.
- Screen patients for opioid use disorder and connect them with evidence-based treatment.
- Talk about and treat addiction as a chronic illness, not a moral failing.