Dr Oz: Michael Botticelli On Drug Epidemic + Addiction & Recovery

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Dr Oz: Drug Czar Michael Botticelli

Dr Oz was exploring the heroin epidemic taking place in our country, and explained that we actually have a drug czar by the name of Michael Botticelli. Dr Oz said if there’s anyone out there who knows how addiction can devastate a family, he’s the one. Michael started drinking regularly by junior year of high school and was binge drinking in college. By his 20’s, he was an alcoholic in denial. In May of 1988, while driving drunk, he crashed and woke up to find himself handcuffed to a hospital bed. In court, the judge offered him a choice, jail or treatment?

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On the road to recovery, Michael realized his passion for helping others dealing with substance abuse. Now, 27 years after that crash, he’s still sober and his calling has become his career. He’s the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Dr Oz’s entire audience was filled with parents holding up pictures of their children whom they lost to heroin addiction. Michael started by sharing that he couldn’t express how saddened he was by the loss of our nation’s children to drugs. He reported that we are losing 120 people every day to a drug-related overdose.

Dr Oz: Michael Botticelli On Drug Epidemic + Addiction & Recovery

Dr Oz talked to drug Czar Michael Botticelli about the drug epidemic in our country. (dkalo / Flickr)

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Dr Oz: Prescription Drug Problem In The U.S.

Michael explained that what we really have is a prescription drug problem. He explained that the four-fold increase in overdose deaths correlate to the dramatic over-prescribing of prescription painkillers in the United States. First, physicians need to be educated on safe and effective opioid prescribing because in medical school they got little to no education on substance use and little use on pain prescribing.

Prescription drug abuse leads to heroin with 4/5 of newer heroin users starting by misusing prescription medicine. Michael said we first have to talk about it openly, honestly, and candidly. He said it’s important that young people especially see the bright light on the other side of recovery. Dr Oz said he was actually had a recent press conference and found that five out of the six people representing the country were in recovery.

Dr Oz said we’ve moved from a war on drugs to a war for recovery. Dr Oz then explained that one in three families are affected by addiction, and 90% of people don’t get help. He introduced Jim Hood, who’s son Austin died from an accidental heroin overdose one day before his 21st birthday. Jim Hood is the co-founder of Facing Addiction, and explained that when you have a loved one who is facing addiction, often times you just don’t know where to turn.

Dr Oz: Facing Addiction

Just because you struggle with addiction doesn’t mean your life is over. There are more than 20 million Americans in recovery and Greg Williams is one them. He’s been in recovery successfully for 14 years. Greg is the other co-founder of Facing Addiction. Facing Addiction is trying to educate America, and give them hope, tools, and solutions in order to combat the epidemic. The Unite to Face Addiction rally will take place on October 4 in Washington, D.C.

Michael shared that one of the hard things is seeing a life on the other side of recover. The truth is that there are all kinds of options out there for treatment, care, and recovery.

Do you know someone who has been personally affected by drug use? How do you think the drug epidemic in our country should be handled?

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