Michael Botticelli: Addiction is a disease. We should treat it like one
Michael Botticelli - Drug policy expert
As Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli led the Obama Administration’s drug policy efforts to diminish the consequences of substance use through evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery support services. Full bio
I was a broken man.
to tell that if you met me.
riddled with addiction,
with my own sexuality.
of isolation and insecurities.
my way through college.
in the early 1980s,
to meet other gay people,
my disease progressed undiagnosed.
and places and things
an intersection with the law
has been filled with love and with joy,
friends and family to this disease.
loved ones to addiction.
countless friends to HIV and AIDS.
and the AIDS epidemic
of the greatest health crises of our time.
with prescription drugs and heroin.
were dying from HIV and AIDS.
with our current epidemic.
the innocent victims from the rest of us.
blaming us for being sick.
by stigma and fear,
research, recovery and treatment.
the LGBT movement.
in a battle for our lives
and we made things happen.
in our lifetime.
to their friends, to their families
for the Names Project.
by Cleve Jones in San Francisco
the AIDS memorial quilt
on a brilliant day in October, 1988.
down the ban on same-sex marriage.
to the steps of the Supreme Court
with so many other people,
how far we came around LGBT rights
around issues of addiction.
by President Obama
and about the fact that I was a gay man.
my confirmation process --
come to bear on my candidacy
said that there was no way
by the United States Senate
in recovery for over 20 years,
of knowledge around addiction.
substance use disorders
coming out as a gay man
with a history of addiction.
is affected by addiction.
it's not talked about openly and honestly.
time and time again, on TV, online,
and we hear it from family and friends.
we hear those voices,
less deserving of care and treatment.
only one in nine people
get care and treatment.
and you get referred to care.
have to wait for treatment
has significant, dire consequences.
that means death or incarceration.
out of this problem.
and that people develop.
has taken a different tack on drug policy.
a comprehensive plan
to give people second chances.
officials working hand in hand
guiding people to treatment
and other first responders
to give people a second chance for care.
is the biggest expansion
treatment in a generation,
of treatment services within primary care.
all of this work is not enough.
that we view people with addiction
understood that I had a problem
I was stupid, that I was weak-willed,
because I want to make change.
and candid about who we are
to change public opinion,
and empower the millions of Americans
about who they are.
to change public opinion
who has an addiction,
with addiction in the United States.
someone with an addiction,
or an addict or an abuser --
in the United States
people with addiction.
get care when they need it,
About the speaker:Michael Botticelli - Drug policy expert
As Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli led the Obama Administration’s drug policy efforts to diminish the consequences of substance use through evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery support services.
Why you should listen
Michael Botticelli was sworn in as Director of National Drug Control Policy at the White House on February 11, 2015, after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate. He joined the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) as Deputy Director in November 2012 and later served as Acting Director. He is currently the Executive Director of the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine at Boston Medical Center and also a Distinguished Policy Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.
As Director of National Drug Control Policy, Botticelli led the Obama Administration's drug policy efforts, which are based on a balanced public health and public safety approach. The Administration advanced historic drug policy reforms and innovations in prevention, criminal justice, treatment and recovery.
In response to the national opioid epidemic, Botticelli coordinated actions across the Federal government to reduce prescription drug abuse, heroin use and related overdoses. These include supporting community-based prevention efforts; educating prescribers and the public about preventing prescription drug abuse; expanding use of the life-saving overdose-reversal drug naloxone by law enforcement and other first responders; and increasing access to medication-assisted treatment and recovery support services to help individuals sustain their recovery from opioid use disorders.
Botticelli has more than two decades of experience supporting Americans affected by substance use disorders. Prior to joining ONDCP, he 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.
Botticelli has served in a variety of leadership roles for the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors. He was a member of the Advisory Committee for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. He has also co-authored many peer-reviewed articles that have significantly contributed to the field.
Born in Upstate New York, Botticelli holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Siena College and a Master of Education degree from St. Lawrence University. He is also in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder, celebrating more than 28 years of recovery.
Michael Botticelli | Speaker | TED.com