Obama’s Drug Czar Speculates on the Future of Recovery

In February 2015, Michael Botticelli became the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). The background he brought to the office gave him a unique vantage point: Botticelli himself is in long-term recovery, the first person in addiction recovery to serve in the position. Botticelli was rightfully proud of all that he had accomplished, and used his status as individual in recovery to help further a strategy of recovery from the ravages of substance abuse, rather than attempting to create more draconian regulation in an effort to discourage drug use.


In effect, Botticelli embodied the idea that recovery was possible. He aimed to take the office away from the failed policies of the war on drugs, and instead enacted policies that fostered recovery and took a more health-focused approach to addiction. In particular, Botticelli worked to combat the ongoing opioid addiction epidemic which the United States is currently struggling against. Botticelli’s experience with addiction afforded him a unique vantage point on the dire situation, and allowed him to make decisions from the perspective of someone who has themselves had to face and overcome addiction.


Now that Botticelli has stepped down from the position after the change in administration, he has taken the opportunity to speak on how the government may be able to make progress in overcoming the opioid addiction crisis. Botticelli points out that Trump spoke of the opioid epidemic during his time on the campaign trail, but points out that so far while in office, he has not made any statements regarding opioid substance abuse. However, Botticelli did point out that the Affordable Care Act did direct a substantial amount of funds towards addiction recovery, and that the impact of repealing the ACA could have a major impact on substance abuse treatment.


Botticelli points out that those who are struggling with addiction frequently do not have the access they need to substance abuse recovery programs. Furthermore, he emphasizes the fact that many of those who struggle with addiction are also dealing with a co-occurring mental health disorder. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, almost half of those Americans who are dealing with addiction have a co-occurring mental health disorder, necessitating more involved recovery techniques, such as dual diagnosis mental health treatment.


Furthermore, under the ACA, states were required to provide an adequate amount of funding for substance abuse recovery plans. Without the ACA in place, Botticelli is concerned that some states may not allocate the proper funding to addiction recovery, creating a dire situation for those who live within the state and require substance abuse recovery treatment. Botticelli points out that historically, Medicaid has not allocated the proper funding to addiction recovery, something that the parity laws contained within the ACA protected against.


If you are struggling with addiction and need treatment, you don’t need to search for a solution any longer. Contact one of our addiction recovery specialists today. One of the drug rehab centers in the Intervention Association Network is right for you. Contact us now!

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