White House: Valley Not Alone in Opioid Drug Abuse Epidemic

Haverhill City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua and White House Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli.

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas during Third District Day.

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas during Third District Day.

The White House says the Merrimack Valley is far from alone in battling an opioid drug abuse epidemic.

Haverhill City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua said he discussed the problem last week with White House Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli. The meeting came during Congresswoman Niki Tsongas’ annual Third District Day, April 14, in Washington, D.C.

“I told him what was happening, with a seeming escalation, and that more funding and assistance was needed, in my opinion, for more and longer term treatment. He was very concerned and very aware of the devastating impact it is having upon the country he was aware of what was and is happening in Massachusetts,” Bevilacqua told WHAV Thursday.

The city councilor, who is also president of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, met Botticelli after a Capitol Hill presentation. Botticelli reported President Obama is seeking $1.1 billion in new funding which “would represent the largest single investment in treatment along with other initiatives,” Bevilacqua said.

“I said that more treatment availability was needed and to provide a longer term to ensure people truly received the help they needed…He noted that this is a serious issue across the country—and not just here in Mass.”

Botticelli was sworn in as director Feb. 11, 2015, after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate. He first joined the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy as deputy director in 2012.

According to the White House, Botticelli has been in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder for more than 26 years. His job includes coordinating actions across the Federal government to reduce prescription drug abuse, heroin use and related overdoses. These include supporting community-based prevention efforts, educating prescribers and the public about preventing prescription drug abuse, expanding use of the lifesaving 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 from opioid use disorders.

5 thoughts on “White House: Valley Not Alone in Opioid Drug Abuse Epidemic

  1. Joe Bevilacqua…Like the rest of the incompetent liberal fools assessing the rain coming in the house during a storm, all you’re doing is looking for more buckets.

    Politicians at every level all across this country are silent in connecting the dots between the out of control liberal public policy and this epidemic that is wiping out a generation of young people.

    The Department of Homeland Security recently reported there is 1,500 miles of southern border that goes unpatrolled. It goes unpatrolled because DHS is understaffed by 5,000 border agents and 0bama refuses to authorize the hiring of these agents to bring staffing up to previous levels. Coupled with open border public policy that allows easy access of criminal illegal trespassers to get into this country, the end result is $50BILLION….yes BILLION… worth of drugs easily flows into this country every year. Where is Nikki Tsongas on this issue?

    ABC TV show 20/20 recently did a show spotlighting the severe drug problem in Manchester, NH. It reported that virtually all the drugs enter that city does so via a pipeline coming from drug dealers in Lawrence, Mass. The Lawrence City Council and mayor Rivera (who literally lied for months claiming he would not vote to do so, but in the end voted in favor of it) recently voted to officially recognize Lawrence as a sanctuary city. The city now provides safe haven for criminals from other countries who are supplying the drugs that are killing our kids. Yet, not one word from a politician at any level even mentioning this.

    All great generals throughout history have beaten their enemies by cutting off their supply lines. Our current leaders not only do nothing to cut off supply lines, they make it easy through legislated public policy and ignoring laws that allows for this epidemic to continue and grow.

    Joe, save us the articles and pictures from the photo ops you so cherish. Anyone who even slightly pays attention knows you’re a complete fraud.

    • Another issue, is that while everyone is so afraid of the opioid crisis (and we all SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS), they have frightened our healthcare providers half to death, threatening them with God knows what, if they prescribe the legitimate meds that Mental Health patients need in order to keep them going. The world has gone MAD, and we now live in a world where UP is DOWN and DOWN is UP!!!!!

  2. “The meeting came during Congresswoman Niki Tsongas’ annual Third District Day, April 14, in Washington, D.C.” –

    Is this the same CONgress Member that voted in favor of Bailouts? Voice voted in favor insider trading and access to “political intelligence” which would put any reader here in prison were we to do it? The same CONgress Member and her staff who unlike the rest of us, treat themselves differently than the rest of us by using the D.C. Small Business Exchange for health care because EACH CONgress Member claims that their staff is a separate business entity under 45 employees? The same CONgress Member that voted out private lending for colleges? The same CONgress Member who takes camapign donations from Third District companies who are fully engaged in firing AMERICAN workers and filling them with H-1B Visa workers? That CONgress Member?

    The so-called opiate epidemic is one of the least of this areas problems, as well as this country’s. Especially with a two-faced lying & deceitful CONgress Member like Niki Tsongas selling Americans out one family at a time.

    • Bravo Duncan! All points you make are TRUE, TRUE, TRUE, but you forgot that our ESTEEMED Congresswoman, Niki Tsongas is soooooo afraid of her constituents that she doesn’t hold real Town Hall Meetings. She requires that her constituents parade into the inner sanctum one at a time to talk about their complaints, won’t address issues in a group setting where all can hear her answer. Divide and conquer is what I would call it.