A number of provider and advocacy groups in the addiction treatment and recovery communities are praising the Obama administration's announcement just prior to the Labor Day weekend that Michael Botticelli has been nominated as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Botticelli joined the federal agency in 2012 as deputy director and has been serving as acting director.
Some associations in the field believe that the selection of Botticelli, a former state substance abuse agency director in Massachusetts, signals a further emphasis on prevention and treatment in a federal department that often has been led by individuals with a law enforcement background.
“We congratulate the White House for recognizing that addiction is a disease, and that having an ONDCP Director with a strong history of emphasizing prevention and treatment will not only benefit the individual, but it also benefits our families, communities, and the 23 million children living in homes with the active disease of addiction,” said Gary M. Weiss, MD, board chairman of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA).
“Mr. Botticelli is the ideal person to hold this important position at this time in our nation,” said Gen. Arthur T. Dean, chairman and CEO of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). “Not only does he understand firsthand the challenges associated with substance abuse, treatment, and recovery, he has a keen understanding of the science of prevention and values the important role community coalitions play in preventing and reducing teen drug use.”
As director of the Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, Botticelli facilitated implementation of evidence-based practices in the state by establishing strong partnerships with human-service agencies, stakeholder groups and law enforcement, according to the National Council for Behavioral Health.
In 2008, the organizations that serve as planning partners for Recovery Month presented Botticelli with the first Ramstad/Kennedy Award for leadership in promoting recovery. In 2012, the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) awarded him its Service Award. Botticelli is also in long-term recovery.