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Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health: A Vision for the Future


  • Substance abuse is out of control—are there solutions?
  • Abt conducted rigorous research of best practices.
  • Our research informed the Surgeon General’s report on the topic.
The Challenge

Alcohol and drug abuse are raging out of control. More than 27 million Americans – the equivalent of the population of Texas – reported use of illicit drugs or misuse of prescription medicines in 2015. A survey showed that more than 66 million people, or one-quarter of the U.S. population, reported binge drinking the previous month. The estimated yearly economic impact of alcohol misuse is $249 bilion and the impact of illicit drugs is $193 billion. The Surgeon General was interested in discussing solutions to these challenges.

The Approach

Abt conducted rigorous research that helped inform the first “The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health,” released in November 2016. We helped synthesize the best evidence on these growing health concerns.

The Results

The seven-chapter report is intended to help individuals, families, community members, educators, health care professionals, public health practitioners, advocates, public policymakers, and researchers find effective, sustainable solutions to the problems caused by alcohol and drugs.  The contents illuminated the serious and pervasive problem of substance misuse, included findings and discussions of evidence-based programs and policies that effectively prevent and treat substance misuse and substance use disorders, and have the greatest potential for public health impact.