White House Addiction Treatment Expert Reveals Top Goals in Exclusive Interview with Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Weekly

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A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D. the top federal official on addiction treatment, chose Wiley newsletter Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly for his first interview after being sworn in as deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The fact that he chose Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Weekly for his first official press interview is a reflection of his respect for the treatment field. He is so smart that I wonder if even his 'minders' in the federal bureaucracy will be able to keep up with him. He has always been the best 'interview' because he says what he knows is true.

A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D. the top federal official on addiction treatment, chose Wiley newsletter Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly for his first interview after being sworn in as deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Published in the Aug. 31 issue, the interview reveals the bold directions McLellan plans to head in, including a new focus on probation and parole, in partnership with Gil Kerlikowske, ONDCP director.

Talking with Wiley editor Alison Knopf, McLellan discusses his plans to strengthen treatment in community corrections, so that probation and parole are more effective in keeping people who need treatment, instead of incarceration, out of jail. Following the administration's lead in the health care reform agenda, McLellan also proposes to reorganize the treatment system, integrating addiction treatment into health care in general.

"Treatment of addiction is no different from treatment of any other illness. Ideally, the federal government's rules, regulations, and financing ought to be consonant with the best practices." McLellan states in the interview before outlining proposed changes in current provider care he hopes to see.

"The addiction treatment and prevention fields are thrilled to have Dr. McLellan at ONDCP," said Knopf. "The fact that he chose Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Weekly for his first official press interview is a reflection of his respect for the treatment field. He is so smart that I wonder if even his 'minders' in the federal bureaucracy will be able to keep up with him. He has always been the best 'interview' because he says what he knows is true."

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Meredith Stanton
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