US Surgeon General Discusses Opioid Crisis: Part I

The Opioid Crisis GateHouse Treatment
Opioid Overdose Treatment

GateHouse Treatment is excited to report that the US Surgeon General and Boston University School of Public Health teamed up for an incredible purpose yesterday. To have a much-needed conversation about the ongoing opioid crisis that is plaguing the entire country and the benefits of opiate rehab.

Speakers included the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Commissioner, Dr. Monica Bharel, VADM Jerome M. Adams, Surgeon General of the United States, and Jonathan Woodson, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs as the moderator.

This broadcast event is one of the most important conversations that is needed to be heard by anyone affected by substance abuse- addicts, loved ones, opiate rehab, medical professionals, and policy makers.

The discussion is broken into three parts and will be analyzed as such. Part I will be covering Dr. Adams’ statement about the current state of affairs with the United States recognition and action regarding substance abuse. Part II will cover Dr. Bharel’s discussion on the measures the state of Massachusetts, a leader in substance abuse policy making, has taken and an in depth look at their ongoing action plan to address the crisis. Part III will cover the discussion between Dr. Bharel and Dr. Adams, moderated by Jonathan Woodson.

Part I

Dr. Jerome M. Adams opened the event by speaking about the US Department of Health and Human Services’ current priorities and what the department and the current administration will be doing to combat the opioid epidemic.

He spoke about the widespread effects of addiction and shared his personal experience with substance abuse. His little brother, is currently serving time in state prison because of untreated substance abuse. He shares his painful story in hopes of showing that addiction does not discriminate.

“No one is spared. Black, white, rich, poor, urban, or rural. If we don’t share our stories, if we don’t do what we can to lower stigma, if we don’t become better partners, in this plague the dean [Dean of Boston University School of Public Health] mentioned, we are not going to overcome this epidemic.”

His words resonated with the audience as he set the stage for how important it is to open a conversation about this crisis affecting our brothers, sisters, friends, and neighbors. He then moves on to provide what he considers to be crucial parts of the solution to this crisis.

Three Prong Solution

His emphasis is on the importance of educating the general public on the opioid epidemic. Based on a recent study, half of the country doesn’t believe this epidemic is an emergency in their neighborhoods. They don’t believe Narcan should be available to the public without a prescription. Its crucial to educate the people so they can form new opinions based on actual statistics. Substance abuse affects everyone today; every neighborhood, every race, and every socio-economic class.

The second step he says, is to understand that “addiction is a spectrum. It is a chronic disease.” This requires the people to develop a sense of compassion towards those struggling. He talks about the importance of getting those suffering from substance abuse to drug treatment centers and keep them alive long enough to get there, using tools like Narcan in case of an overdose.

The third step, is having good drug treatment options in place to provide the best chance at long-term recovery for addicts. He talks about the current lack of treatment availability and the public’s inability to discern which of the available drug treatment centers are good treatment options.

He asks, “what makes a good treatment program?” There are four vital parts to what comprises of a good treatment program to offer someone the best shot at opiate rehab recovery.

  1. Personalized or individualized program customized to the client. No one size fits all approach. Every person’s addiction is different and should be handled as such.
  2. The treatment center offers the full gambit of FDA approved medication assisted treatment, such as Vivitrol and Suboxone. (MAT)
  3. Behavioral health interventions are a part of drug treatment centers. It is important to make sure people understand detox is just the start. Longer treatment is necessary.
  4. Full array of opiate rehab recovery support is available. Extended treatment options: housing, employment, basic needs provided for – to ensure smooth reintegration into society.

His passion for this issue is personal, fueling his drive to make sure society gets better, and as a community we can come up with a solution to this epidemic.

Does GateHouse Treatment fit the bill?

The program at GateHouse Treatment, a drug treatment center, is structured to fit every criteria mentioned by the US Surgeon General as the formula for a reputable treatment center.

  1. We pride ourselves in having extremely individualized treatment plans for each of our clients, based on many individual assessments made after evaluations with the client. We echo his sentiments that “every person’s addiction and recovery is different.”
  2. GateHouse Treatment is leading the change in ensuring clients have Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) options. We are listed as one of the few drug treatment centers being a Vivitrol provider. We give all our clients the option of having a licensed medical professional administer the Vivitrol (Naltrexone- extended release) shot to fight opioid and alcohol cravings.
  3. Our clinical treatment is highly reputed, having expert clinicians on our staff and offering several therapy modalities both individual and group, using evidence based practices such as EMDR trauma therapy, and psychodrama.
  4. The GateHouse Treatment program is a long term drug treatment program with many different phases, which allows our clients to grow along the program, helping them find employment with our help, pay rent for comfortable housing, and eventually reintegrate them back into society.

For more information on GateHouse Treatment Programs, visit our website, or reach out to our admissions team at (855) 448-3588.

To watch the event in full, visit

Check back on our GateHouse Treatment blog for coverage of Part II of the broadcast where Dr. Monica Bharel, Massachusetts Commissioner of Health, speaks about ground breaking new actions being taken to combat this problem and find out- where can I find an opiate rehab near me?

GateHouse Treatment Editorial Staff
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