The power of recovery

dd_botticelli_headshotThe Washington Post recently ran a story about the acting drug czar, who happens to be one of us.

The nation’s acting drug czar has a substance-abuse problem.

Botticelli, 56, is an alcoholic who has been sober for a quarter-century. He quit drinking after a series of events, including waking up handcuffed to a hospital bed after a drunken-driving accident and a financial collapse that left him facing eviction.

Decades later, he is tasked with spearheading the Obama administration’s drug policy, which is largely predicated on the idea of shifting people with addiction into treatment and support programs and away from the criminal justice system.

. . .

Hours later, Botticelli stood outside the church where his recovery started and marveled at how he got from there to the White House.

“When I first came here, all I wanted to do was not drink and have my problems go away,” he said, choking up. “I’m standing here 25 years later, working at the White House. And if you had asked me 25 years ago when I came to my first meeting here if that was a possibility, I would’ve said you’re crazy. But I think it just demonstrates what the power of recovery is.”

Previous post: How the hell did I get here?

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2 responses to “The power of recovery

  1. He certainly has his work cut out for him. If they allow him to focus on rehabilitation instead on incarceration he will be doing some good.
    Incarcerating people who need a doctor is stupid. It is also enormously espensive. It also puts a conviction on a persons record that makes the rest of their life much harder.
    Obviously, people who have hurt other people while under the influence will need to be punished but why not let the non-violent ones work it out in rehab. Repeat offenders would need to have something done too. I think we should allow for far greater flexibility in mandatory sentencing. I think mandatory sentencing needs to go.

    According to the Federal Register:
    “The fee to cover the average cost of incarceration for Federal inmates in Fiscal Year 2011 was $28,893.40. The average annual cost to confine an inmate in a Community Corrections Center for Fiscal Year 2011 was $26,163.
    Who knows what it costs now.

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