Michael Botticelli speaks at Brandeis/Harvard NIDA Center Symposium

March 28, 2018

Michael Botticelli speaking at a podium
Michael Botticelli

On March 27, 2018, the Brandeis/Harvard NIDA Center to Improve System Performance of Substance Use Disorder Treatment  welcomed Michael Botticelli as the guest speaker for their spring symposium. Botticelli is the former director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and current executive director of the Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center. The Brandeis/Harvard NIDA Center (funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse) fills a critical public health need to better understand how to improve treatment of substance use disorders.

Constance Horgan, professor and director of the Institute for Behavioral Health (IBH) at the Heller School's Schneider Institutes for Health Policy, introduced Botticelli and gave a warm welcome to the audience. Botticelli then shared his perspective on the topic, "From Science to Practice: Successes and Challenges in Implementing Effective Approaches to End the Opioid Epidemic."

Through the lens of his personal and professional experiences, Botticelli called for greater attention to the opioid epidemic, where advocacy and strategy could not only be expanded, but also better coordinated, at the national and state level. He also recognized the role of stigma in shaping public policy and pressed the media to take more responsibility in the manner in which it reports, generates conversations and contributes to public attitudes around the opioid epidemic and substance abuse in general.