The National Night of Conversation

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy Appears in Nov. 10th broadcast to discuss recently commissioned report on addiction.

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U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy Appears in Nov. 10th Broadcast to Discuss Recently Commissioned Report on Addiction

Partnership With Facing Addiction and Drugs Over Dinner Includes Hundreds of Affiliated Organizations in the Addiction Field and Participation of Major Federal Agencies

New York – (November 6, 2015) – In an effort to address the national problem of addiction, the three-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning The Dr. Oz Show is organizing a National Night Of Conversation November 19th to encourage every family in the country to sit down to dinner and talk to their children about drugs and to have an open and honest discourse about addiction. The National Night Of Conversation  (NNOC) was included in a recent press release distributed by the White House as part of President Obama’s seminal address and town hall forum on the opiate crisis in Charleston, West Virginia on October 21st. The NNOC is being conducted in partnership with Facing Addiction and Drugs Over Dinner and their many affiliated organizations.  In contribution to this effort the show and the partner organizations are offering a downloadable Parental Discussion Guide to help families through this sensitive conversation.  The Parental Discussion Guide was developed with input and advice from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), The National Council on Behavioral Health, and HealthCorps, a high school program founded by Dr. Oz. In a poignant episode to be broadcast on November 10th, Dr. Oz will introduce the night to viewers and will also be joined by the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy M.D. to discuss the first ever recently commissioned Surgeon General’s report on addiction which is expected to compile all the existing research, best treatment practices, and further define the scale and nature of the epidemic. 

“The most important first step we can take in reducing the suffering and death from addiction is to simply talk about it,” said Mehmet Oz, M.D., host. “By removing the fear and shame surrounding addiction, through an open dialog in families we will save lives.  Parents need to educate their children about the overall risks of drugs and drinking, as well as get inside their children’s heads to assess what risks they may be facing already.  Most importantly, we want to make it safe for family members to reach out for help.”

Drug overdose was the leading cause of injury death in 2013, greater than car accidents and homicide and 24.6 million people 12 or older (9.4% of the population) live with substance dependence or abuse.  These staggering statistics exemplify the urgent need for discussion and education surrounding addiction. By talking to their children parents can create a safe haven for children to come forward if drugs or alcohol are in their life, as well as educate kids about the fatal dangers of prescription opioids and heroin. This is one of the factors that led Surgeon General Murthy on October 4th to announce his intention to publish the first ever Surgeon General’s Report on addiction.

“We have to stop seeing addiction as a moral failing and see it for what it really is, which is a chronic illness we must treat with compassion and urgency. Part of the intention of this report is to change how we talk about addiction,” said Vivek Murthy, M.D., U.S. Surgeon General. “The other intention of this report is to also bring the best possible science together about prevention, treatment, and recovery.”

People are encouraged to post a picture of an empty dinner plate on social media as a symbol of support whether they are planning to observe the National Night Of Conversation or not. “On most nights of the year you can find people posting pictures of their meals on social media, but on November 19th, we are asking people to post a picture of an empty dinner plate, because on this night the conversation is more important than the food,” said Dr. Oz.  Anyone can view and use the parental discussion guide or download it as a PDF at  For those who want to customize their discussion the traditional Drugs Over Dinner planning template is available on the site as well.

Also in the November 10th show actress Mackenzie Phillips guests to discuss her long battle with addiction and road to recovery and eventual work as a drug and alcohol counselor. Mackenzie had a very public battle with drugs in the late 70s and early 80s, then after more than 10 years of recovery relapsed on pain medication ending in a high profile arrest. Upon achieving sobriety she decided to seek a degree in addiction counseling and today works as an addiction counselor.

Statistically, 1 in 3 families are affected by addiction, but 90% of those who need treatment don’t receive it. Despite the enormous number of those needing services, today, over 23 million Americans have gotten well and are living in recovery from addiction. Unlike other major health awareness efforts such as breast cancer or heart disease, there has been no unified approach to treating addiction or celebrating those who successfully achieve recovery.

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 About The Dr. Oz Show

Currently in its seventh season, the three-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning syndicated daily series The Dr. Oz Show is hosted by the three-time Emmy Award-winning Dr. Mehmet Oz, accredited health expert, best-selling author, and world-renowned cardiac surgeon. The Dr. Oz Show is an informative hour that offers audiences the opportunity to learn about a wide range of health and wellness topics. Tackling the balance of mind, body, and spirit, Dr. Oz calls on specialists from a variety of disciplines for expert advice on how viewers can be their best selves.

Dr. Oz, the world-renowned cardiothoracic surgeon, served as health expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show since 2004, sharing advice with viewers to help them live their best life from the inside out. Dr. Oz has co-authored six New York Times bestsellers including YOU: The Owner's Manual, YOU: The Smart Patient, YOU: On a Diet, YOU: Staying Young, YOU: Being Beautiful, and YOU: Having a Baby as well as the award-winning Healing from the Heart. Dr. Oz launched his magazine The Good Life with Hearst in spring 2014. He has a regular column in O The Oprah Magazine.  

Dr. Oz is a professor of surgery at Columbia University. He directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital and performs 100 heart operations annually. His research interests include heart replacement surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, complementary medicine, and health care policy. He has authored over 400 original publications, book chapters, and medical books and has received several patents. 

Cleared in over 99% of the country, The Dr. Oz Show is produced by Harpo Productions and distributed by SPT. The Dr. Oz Show is executive produced by Amy Chiaro and co-executive produced by Stacy Rader.