|First-ever report on addiction highlights importance of prevention
In November, the US Surgeon General issued a landmark report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. It is the first time such a report was dedicated to substance misuse and related disorders, but it sadly was eclipsed by political news. The Report makes clear that substance misuse – which includes use of a substance in any way that can cause harm to oneself or others – is an underappreciated but critical public health challenge that can lead to substance use disorders, such as addiction. The Report also provides a roadmap for working together to move our efforts forward.
The Surgeon General’s call to action for prevention includes:
Evidence-based Prevention Programs
Across the lifespan, from birth to elders, in multiple settings.
Evidence-based Community Coalition-based Prevention Models
Coalitions work to change community-level risk and protective factors and achieve community-wide reductions in substance use by planning and implementing one or more prevention strategies in multiple sectors simultaneously, with the goal of reaching as many members of the community as possible with accurate, consistent messages.
Evidence-based Prevention Policies
Research has shown the evidence of effectiveness for policies to reduce alcohol misuse and the misuse of prescription medications.