Durbin Votes To Confirm Michael Botticelli As Director Of The Office Of National Drug Control Policy
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today voted to confirm Michael Botticelli to be the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). The Senate voted 92-0 to confirm him. Botticelli previously served as the Acting Director of ONDCP and has more than two decades of experience supporting Americans who have been affected by substance abuse disorders. Durbin met with Botticelli in December and a photo of that meeting is available HERE.
“I want to congratulate Michael Botticelli, who was confirmed today by the Senate to be the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. He will bring a unique perspective to an important job,” Durbin said. “When I met with him in December, I discussed the growing public health epidemic of opioid and heroin overdoses, and measures that should be taken to save lives and improve access to drug treatment programs.”
Accidental drug overdose has become the leading cause of preventable injury death for individuals under the age of 65 in the United States. In 2013, prescription opioids were involved in nearly 17,000 overdose deaths, and over 8,000 drug overdose deaths involved heroin.
In December, Durbin and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) led a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services calling for the agency to prioritize programs that reduce heroin and other opioid overdose deaths in its national strategy to curb prescription drug abuse. The letter also highlighted the need for expanded access to overdose education, naloxone distribution, and access to substance abuse treatment services and other follow-up care. A copy of that letter is available HERE.
Naloxone is a medication that can reverse the effects of an overdose from opioids, including heroin and prescription painkillers, if it is administered in a timely way. Naloxone has no side effects or potential for abuse, and is widely recognized as an important tool to help prevent drug overdose deaths. However, many communities struggle to get naloxone to those on the front lines who need it most. Illinois, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and other states have been leaders in implementing programs that distribute naloxone and other similarly effective drugs to law enforcement, first responders, providers, nonprofit organizations, family, and friends.
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