National Drug Czar Hosts Town Hall Meeting in Bangor Tonight
The nation's drug czar will be in Bangor tonight to lead a town hall meeting. The purpose of the gathering is a timely discussion on opioid abuse, as Maine struggles not only with the effects of addiction but also the crimes committed in order to support the habit.
Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy will join Bangor Mayor Ben Sprague and Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce CEO John Porter to talk about the issue in Bangor and beyond. The forum will highlight a community planning process that works to develop policy recommendations addressing regional opiate addiction-related issues. Botticelli is also expected to announce a grant aimed at targeting opioid abuse.
Botticelli, who battled alcoholism years ago, is the first person in recovery from addiction to hold this position in government. His office says he's determined to confront the nation's opioid epidemic.
Mayor Sprague said in a press release, "I am so happy that Mr. Botticelli is coming to Bangor to share his expertise. The challenges of addiction and the importance of recovery are on a lot of people's minds in Bangor and I encourage people to attend so we can have a community dialogue."
The town hall forum is entitled 'Pain That Kills: Confronting Bangor's Opioid Epidemic' and will get underway at 7pm tonight at the Gracie Theater on the Husson University Campus. There will be a pre-event reception starting at 6pm.