Dr. Vivek Murthy, former US Surgeon General, discusses the opioid epidemic’s growth on a global scale, his efforts to curb the crisis by promoting a “culture of prevention” and ways in which emotional well-being can be improved overall.
On the severity of the opioid crisis: “The opioid epidemic is, I believe, the defining public health challenge of our time. It’s an incredibly important issue and one that’s not getting better.
On the global nature of the epidemic: “When you look around the world, there are many other countries that are perhaps 10 or 15 years behind where we are in the epidemic…[with] populations that don’t have nearly the kind of public health infrastructure or budget that our country does…We can no longer draw a line around the borders of the United States…global health and domestic health are deeply intertwined."
On improving emotional well-being: “Our goal is not solely to create a population that does not have a diagnosable mental illness, it's to allow people to actually function at the highest level of their mental and emotional well-being.”