The National Night of Conversation

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

The National Night of Conversation


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.  

7 Essential Items to Have for a Pandemic Date, According to a Relationship Expert

Celebrity divorce attorney and relationship expert Vikki Ziegler says you should treat COVID-19 like an STD.

Just when we thought relationships and dating could not get any more complicated, the pandemic took this matter to a whole new level. Celebrity divorce attorney and relationship expert, Vikki Ziegler receives an abundance of questions about this exact topic, every single day. Her fans and followers message her via her social media channels, in the hopes of finding the right way to safely date during these times. So, if this topic has crossed your mind, rest assured you are not alone.

For those who used to "swipe left and right," on the regular, Vikki recommends slowing down for the time being, no matter what type of antibacterial wipes are being used between your swipes. Serial dating during COVID-19 can be dangerous and also very selfish at the same time. This might be a good time to either take a break from dating altogether, or invest more time in one relationship and being monogamous, at least for right now. "Everyone should treat COVID-19 as they do an STD, while dating and practice safe EVERYTHING, even beyond just intimacy," says Ziegler. "This will simplify the process and make the do's and don'ts much less complex."

She recommends that new partners keep the dating virtual prior to both being tested and or having the vaccine. "Screendating" can still be both fun and safe at the same time. She suggests that you still wear your favorite new dress, get that fresh haircut or blowout and act as though you are still going out, even if the date is happening in the privacy of your own home. She has suggested some ideas such as virtual movie nights, happy hours, cooking classes, and the most obvious, the at-home and virtual dining date. This would entail both partners ordering food to each of their respective homes, but using the same menu as if they were dining in person.

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