- Article by: DAVE KOLPACK , Associated Press
“We are actually spending more now on domestic public health strategies than we are on incarceration strategies,” Botticelli said. “There’s a large acknowledgement that we can’t arrest and incarcerate our way out of the problem.”
MINOT, N.D. — As the nation’s drug czar continues to warn people about the potential death and destruction from substance abuse, he’s also encouraging them to tell their stories about treatment and recovery. Usually he starts with himself.
Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, also embraces another title: “I’m one of 23 million Americans in recovery who have gone on to live productive lives.”
He has been sober for a quarter of a century. He has been drug czar for a quarter of a year.
“We’ve been encouraging, not just with me, but with other people, to tell their stories,” Botticelli said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press. “Tell me a family that hasn’t been affected by substance abuse. I haven’t met one.”
Botticelli, who was in North Dakota to announce updates to the administration’s northern border control policy and focus on combating drug crimes in the oil patch, said his office has seen a dramatic shift from a justice-driven strategy to a treatment-driven one. Federal funding for prevention, treatment and recovery is at its highest level in 12 years, he said.