Surgeon General: ‘Addiction can happen to anyone,’ even my brother

Surgeon General Jerome Adams sprays a dose of naloxone in the air at a Senate hearing Thursday. (Screenshot/Senate Finance Committee)

Surgeon General Jerome Adams spoke about his personal connection to the opioid epidemic in a Senate Finance Committee hearing Thursday.

Adams told lawmakers that his brother, Phillip, struggles with substance abuse disorder. “He’s currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for crimes committed to support his addiction,” said the vice admiral, explaining the personal impact to him and his brother.

The surgeon general then went on to detail five “key messages” for lawmakers in addressing the opioid epidemic.

At one point, Adams urged the senators to carry naloxone with them, a drug used to revive a person who has overdosed on opioids. He sprayed the inhaler in the air and said, “[it’s] that easy to save a life.”

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