U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy visited Illinois Wednesday to look into the state's prescription opioid and heroin abuse problems.
The visit was prompted by a request by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin who voiced concerns about an increase in prescription opioid- and heroin-related deaths in Illinois.
Murthy and Durbin visited the Haymarket Center substance abuse facility on Chicago's West Side, where the surgeon general said the growing opioid abuse problem can only be turned around when the nation changes the way it views addiction.
According to Murthy, addiction is a chronic illness that needs to be "treated with skill and urgency" as opposed to being seen as a character flaw or moral failing