US Surgeon General to Visit Medical Center Thursday

Photo courtesy of University of Mississippi Medical Center.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams will be visiting the University of Mississippi Medical Center to discuss the opioid epidemic in the country and what steps are being taken by the administration and the federal government on the issue on Thursday, May 17.

He will be joined by Governor Phil Bryant along with a panel of experts. The discussion will also include how the epidemic is specifically impacting Mississippi.

The panel will be moderated by Dr. Claude Brunson, UMMC senior adviser to the vice chancellor for external affairs and fellow anesthesiologist, who extended the invitation to Adams.

Adams had issued a public health advisory earlier this year advising citizens to carry a drug known as naloxone. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the drug temporarily reverses the effects of opioid overdoses.

Adams stated on his website, “I, Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, VADM Jerome Adams, am emphasizing the importance of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone. For patients currently taking high doses of opioids as prescribed for pain, individuals misusing prescription opioids, individuals using illicit opioids such as heroin or fentanyl, health care practitioners, family and friends of people who have an opioid use disorder, and community members who come into contact with people at risk for opioid overdose, knowing how to use naloxone and keeping it within reach can save a life.”

However, there has been an ongoing debate about whether drugs, such as naloxone, are merely replacements for opioids.

There has been an approach to combat opioid addiction with other pharmaceutical medication, such as Methadone and Suboxone, but the approach is viewed as a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in order to treat opioid patients. According to, the practice is viewed by some as the mere replacement of one drug dependency for another.

For more information on the opioid epidemic in Mississippi, read Experts Discuss Opioid Crisis at UM STEM Fest Panel.

For more information on how UMMC is combating opioid abuse, read UMMC Using Acupuncture, Other Alternative Therapies to Combat Opioid Abuse.

By Talbert Toole, associate editor of He can be reached at


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