(CNN) — Dr. Jerome Adams was confirmed as the US surgeon general this week, pledging to take on the country’s opioid epidemic. Adams, who was nominated for the role by President Donald Trump, is the 20th surgeon general to hold the position.
“To be confirmed as the 20th US Surgeon General is truly an indescribable honor,” Adams tweeted Thursday.
Adams is an anesthesiologist who previously served as the Indiana state health commissioner — “in essence the Surgeon General for Indiana,” he said in a statement to the Senate committee. Prior to that, he served as a staff anesthesiologist and assistant professor of anesthesia at the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he completed his medical degree. He earned undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and biopsychology and a master’s degree in public health.
“The addictive properties of prescription opioids is a scourge in America and it must be stopped,” wrote Adams in his nomination committee statement. He added that he shared US Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s top priorities, including “the opioid epidemic, and untreated mental illness, which lie at the root of much of the current situation.”