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Obama drug policy unveiling in Roanoke

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

ROANOKE — President Barack Obama’s top drug policy advisor was scheduled to unveil the administration’s 2014 National Drug Policy Reform Plan this morning in Roanoke.

Michael Botticelli, acting director of National Drug Control Policy, was to unveil the reforms during a 9:45 a.m. press conference at Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare in Roanoke.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia, the National Drug Policy Reform Plan will emphasize innovative public health strategies and alternatives to law enforcement’s “War on Drugs.” During his presentation, Botticelli also will address the threat of heroin and prescription painkiller (opioid) abuse, and the administration’s plans to respond to that threat.

Botticelli will tour Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare drug treatment facility in northwest Roanoke and Hurt Park Drug Market Intervention Program in southwest Roanoke. The press release states that Botticelli will “review a series of local programs and initiatives that represent the future of drug policy reform in America,” including some strategies outlined in the Obama plan.

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