In a remarkably progressive move by the White House, Michael Botticelli, an alcoholic in recovery, has been appointed as the US Drug Czar, or more formally as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), per the New York Times:
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BALTIMORE — Six recovering substance abusers sat in an inner-city treatment center, sharing their stories. When Michael’s turn came around, he spoke of his former drug of choice, alcohol, and mentioned the night years ago when he drove drunk on the Massachusetts Turnpike, caused an accident and was arrested before passing out.
Michael then pulled out a picture of a friend’s brother who recently died from mixing prescription painkillers with alcohol. He described his grief and visceral connection with the struggles of substance abusers in recovery.
“You are my people,” he said, wiping one eye.
Catharsis is common in treatment centers, but Michael is not the typical former substance abuser: He is Michael Botticelli, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, informally known as the drug czar.