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In this 2016 photograph, he is with Dolores Mitchell, retired executive director of the states Group Insurance Commission, and Dr. Thomas H. Lee, chief medical officer of Press Ganey Associates. By Sacha Pfeiffer Globe Staff March 22, 2017 The nations former drug czar is bringing his expertise back to Massachusetts. Michael Botticelli, a recovering addict who rose to become director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, will head Boston Medical Centers new Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, which aims Medical marijuana to become a national leader in fighting opioid abuse. Calling Botticelli one of the nations leading addiction experts, BMC chief executive Kate Walsh described the opioid epidemic as a challenging and vexing public health crisis that we need to figure out how to attack, and were sure Michael is the best person to lead that effort. Get Talking Points in your inbox: An afternoon recap of the days most important business news, delivered weekdays. Sign Up Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here The Grayken Center, announced earlier this month, is funded by the largest gift in the hospitals history: $25 million from billionaire investor and South Shore native John Grayken and his wife, Eilene. It will be a virtual center housed in existing BMC space, Walsh said, and will specialize in drug research, treatment, training, and prevention. Botticelli, 59, who speaks openly about his history of alcohol and drug abuse, said his leadership of the center will be rooted in his philosophy that addiction is a public health issue best remedied by treatment, not a criminal justice problem solved by jail time. Among Botticellis goals are to make addiction studies part of the curriculum not just at medical schools, but schools of nursing, dental medicine, and public health; to train all medical professionals to become better at diagnosing and treating addiction; and to urge doctors to examine their drug-prescribing habits, since prescription drug abuse leads to many cases of opioid addiction.

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