“Locking people up for minor drug offenses, and especially people with substance-use disorders, is not the answer,” Mr. Botticelli said. “It’s cruel. It’s costly. And it doesn’t make the public any safer.”
Michael Botticelli was sworn in as Director of National Drug Control Policy on February 11, 2015 (a.k.a. the Drug Czar ).
Botticelli is an addict. In 1988, he was arrested on charges of causing an accident while driving drunk on the Mass Pike. He then spent four months in treatment soon leaving his job to work at a substance-abuse treatment center.
Mr. Botticelli has more than two decades of experience supporting Americans who have been affected by substance use disorders. Prior to joining ONDCP, Mr. Botticelli served as Director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where he successfully expanded innovative and nationally recognized prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He also forged strong partnerships with local, state, and Federal law enforcement agencies; state and local health and human service agencies; and stakeholder groups to guide and implement evidence-based programs. These programs include the establishment of a treatment system for adolescents, early intervention and treatment programs in primary healthcare settings, jail diversion programs, re-entry services for those leaving state and county correctional facilities, and overdose prevention programs.
The Drug Czar wants police officers nationwide to be trained to use naloxone, a nasal spray or injection that can almost instantly resuscitate people who overdose on opiates; better education for prescribers of painkillers and other drugs so that they can recognize signs of abuse or addiction; and the distribution of clean syringes for intravenous drug users to stem the spread of infectious diseases like H.I.V. and hepatitis C. (from Whitehouse.gov)
Let’s hope that this type of forward thinking by the drug czar brings us into the future of addiction treatment.