Speakers


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KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Michael Botticelli

Michael Botticelli has more than two decades of experience at the local, state and federal levels supporting Americans affected by substance use disorders. He was sworn in as director of national drug control policy at the White House in 2015 after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate. In this role, Botticelli led the Obama administration’s drug policy efforts, which were based on a balanced public health and public safety approach. The administration advanced historic drug policy reforms and innovations in prevention, criminal justice, treatment and recovery.
In response to the national opioid epidemic, Botticelli coordinated actions across the federal government to reduce prescription drug abuse, heroin use and related overdoses. These actions included supporting community-based prevention efforts, educating prescribers and the public about preventing prescription drug abuse, expanding use of the life-saving overdose-reversal drug naloxone by law enforcement and other first responders, and increasing access to medication-assisted treatment and recovery support services to help individuals sustain their recovery.

Botticelli is currently the executive director of the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine at Boston Medical Center and a distinguished policy scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. He is also in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder, celebrating more than 28 years of recovery.

Sam Quinones

Sam Quinones is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist and author of three books of narrative nonfiction. His latest book is Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, for which he traveled across the United States. Dreamland recounts twin stories of drug marketing in the 21st Century. A pharmaceutical corporation touts its legal new opiate prescription painkiller as nonaddictive. Meanwhile, immigrants from a small town in Nayarit, Mexico, devise a method for retailing black-tar heroin in the US and take that system nationwide, riding a wave of addiction to prescription pills from coast to coast. The collision of those two forces has led to America’s deadliest drug scourge in modern times.

Dreamland won a National Book Critics Circle award for the best nonfiction book of 2015. It was also selected as one of the best books of 2015 by Amazon.com, Seattle Times, Boston Globe, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Entertainment Weekly, Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Business.

Quinones is formerly a reporter with the L.A. Times, where he worked for 10 years (2004-2014). He is a veteran reporter on immigration, gangs, drug trafficking and the border.

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