Executive Sessionby Senator Dianne Feinstein
Posted on 2015-02-09
FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I wish to express my strong support
for Michael Botticelli as nominee to be the Director of the Office of
National Drug Control Policy.
Mr. Botticelli has more than two decades of experience supporting those who have been affected by substance use and abuse.
Prior to joining the Office of National Drug Control Policy in 2012, when he was confirmed as the Deputy Director, Mr. Botticelli served as the director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
While there, he expanded prevention, treatment, and recovery services, and worked to implement evidence-based programs, including a youth treatment system, early intervention and treatment programs, and overdose prevention programs.
During Mr. Botticelli's tenure as director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, he confronted the issues of heroin and prescription drug abuse head-on and worked to ensure that police officers in Quincy, MA were trained and equipped to resuscitate overdose victims using naloxone, an emergency opioid overdose reversal medication.
Since October 2010, Quincy police officers have administered naloxone 220 times, almost always resulting in successful overdose reversal. This program has been replicated in communities throughout the country.
As chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, I had the opportunity to work closely with Mr. Botticelli during his time as Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Most recently, Mr. Botticelli testified at a hearing I chaired to address America's addiction to prescription opioids and heroin, where he emphasized the need for increased prescriber education to reduce prescription drug abuse and expanded access to naloxone nationwide.
In addition, Mr. Botticelli has committed to working with my office to address the import, manufacture, and distribution of dangerous synthetic drugs, which take far too many lives, far too early. At a previous hearing on the topic, he provided valuable insight into the threat that synthetic drugs pose and it is my hope that we can continue to work together as the Senate considers legislation to address this threat.
[[Page S853]] Mr. Botticelli has also been very clear about the fact that marijuana remains illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, and has done much to disavow the notion that marijuana is harmless.
As a person in recovery himself, Mr. Botticelli brings a unique perspective to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. I believe this perspective will enable him to successfully implement a national drug control strategy that recognizes the need for both supply and demand reduction and appropriately incorporates an effective public health approach that is coupled with law enforcement efforts.
I look forward to continuing to work with Mr. Botticelli as he leads the Office of National Drug Control Policy in implementing a whole of government approach to combatting illegal and illicit drug use.
I believe Michael Botticelli will serve with distinction as the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and I urge my colleagues to confirm his nomination.