We at Fairwinds Treatment Center witness the havoc wreaked by drug addiction every day, and it's unfortunate that so much of this country's policies toward these substances focus on the use of incarceration rather than therapy. That's why we were surprised, and pleased, to read the text of Michael Botticelli's recent speech in Roanoke, Virginia.
Speaking at a drug addiction treatment center, Botticelli — acting director of the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy — unveiled the Obama administration's new strategy for curbing drug abuse. According to CBS News, the new policy includes plans to "push for expanded health interventions and 'smart on crime' alternatives."
The White House's new drug plan puts a strong emphasis on preventing opioid overdoses, which stem from heroin and prescription painkiller use. In just the last year alone, the United States has seen abuse of both these drugs skyrocket, often going hand in hand as former prescription drug users turn to heroin for a similar, but cheaper, high. Consequently, overdose rates for opioid users has risen, with one of the more shocking instances being actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman's death earlier this year.
In order to reassert the Obama administration's commitment to more effectively combating drug abuse, Botticelli opened his speech by speaking candidly about his own history with drugs.
"As one of the millions of Americans in recovery myself, I can't overstate the importance of this administration's efforts to reform drug policy in a way that finally recognizes that substance abuse is a public health issue and not just a criminal justice issue," Botticelli told the crowd. "We cannot arrest or incarcerate our way out of the drug program."
If you or a loved one count yourself among those millions of people currently struggling with drug addiction, Fairwinds Treatment Center can help. Since being founded by Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef in 1989, Fairwinds has established itself as one of the top drug and alcohol treatment centers in Florida. Our unique dual diagnosis methodology allows us to effectively treat patients for drug addiction by actively identifying and resolving the psychological factors that can contribute to substance abuse in the first place.