Wednesday, October 8, 2014

APA Tells Senate Leaders It Supports Drug-Policy Nominee

In a letter to the chair and ranking Republican of the Senate Judiciary Committee, APA has conveyed its support for the nomination of Michael Botticelli to head the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Botticelli has been acting director of the office since 2012. In the letter to the Senate leaders, APA President Paul Summergrad, M.D., and CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., emphasize that Botticelli has demonstrated the ability to understand the significant challenges facing the ONDCP, including "a growing epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse."

The APA leaders also praised Botticelli willingness "to work collaboratively with federal partners, state authorities, and professional associations like APA to reduce drug use and to promote prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery services."

Prior to going to the White House, Botticelli headed the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. He also served on advisory committees to the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (a division of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.

In a recent interview with Psychiatric News, Botticelli, who openly discusses his recovery from alcohol abuse over the past 25 years, said that by intensifying efforts to reduce stigma associated with mental health and substance use disorders, more people will be encouraged to access mental health care services.

Read more about Botticelli in the Psychiatric News articles "SAMHSA Uses Recovery Event to Report Rise in Substance Abuse" and "New White House Drug Policy Focuses on Science of Addiction."


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