The White House drug czar on fighting addictions — including his own
Play • 37 min

More than 47,000 people died from opioid-related causes in 2014. More deaths than from gun violence. More deaths than from car crashes. And the top job of fighting opioid abuse — of setting the nation's drug policy — is on the shoulders of this week's guest, Michael Botticelli. Botticelli joined POLITICO's "Pulse Check" podcast to discuss how he approaches drug policy (starts at the 2:20 mark), who’s to blame for the opioid epidemic (7:10 mark), how the White House is working to combat the nation’s heroin and opioid problems (14:00), the connection between the aggressive war on drugs and unrest in black communities today (20:18) and how he thinks about addictions like craving exercise, sex and gambling (25:40). Also: Check out the combo lightning round and crowd-sourced questions that start at 30:20. We’d appreciate your help: Please share PULSE CHECK and rate us on your favorite podcast app! Have questions, suggestions or feedback? Email ddiamond@politico.com.

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