US Surgeon General speaks at Fort Bragg about opioid addiction and his family’s own struggle

Health Alert

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) — The United States Surgeon General spoke at Fort Bragg Tuesday about the opioid crisis and the importance of carrying naloxone, an opioid reversal medication.

“Stigma is one of our biggest killers,” Surgeon General Jerome Adams said. “The way we overcome stigma is by helping people understand that the opioid epidemic touches all of our families, including my own.”

He says his little brother is currently serving time behind bars for crimes he committed while addicted to heroin.

“It’s painful to talk about but I think it’s important to talk about because if this can happen to the family of the surgeon general of the United States, it can happen to any of us,” he added.

Adams recently put our an advisory calling on more people to carry naloxone as a way of responding to an opioid overdose. 

“The more folks are willing to carry naloxone, the more lives we’ll save.”

Adams says Womack Army Medical Center and the surrounding healthcare community are doing a great job of using evidence-based treatment programs to fight addiction, but there’s always more work to be done.

“The president and the secretary have been adamant that we are going to continue to lean into this and give communities the resources they need to respond,” Adams said.

One of his goals is creating recovery friendly communities and partnerships to help people like his brother stay off drugs. 

“I want to make sure he’s got a job, he’s got a place to live and he has hope when he gets out so that he can become again a successful member of our society,” Adams said.

Adams also spoke about the low risk of the coronavirus in our area and the importance of getting flu shots. He also talked about how healthcare providers can encourage people to stop smoking, and ways to lower the obesity rate. 

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