Tuesday, April 14, 2009

McLellan Announced as Deputy Drug Czar

April 13, 2009
Join Together.org

A. Thomas McLellan, a noted addiction researcher, has been nominated as deputy director of the Obama administration's Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Chicago Tribune reported April 10.

If confirmed, McLellan will serve as the chief deputy to presumptive drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, who also must be confirmed by the Senate.

McLellan, 59, has been involved in some of the most important addiction research in recent decades, including the development of the Addiction Severity Index and studies comparing addiction with other chronic health conditions. Most recently, he headed the Treatment Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

"I think [McLellan's] long and rigorous examination of how drug-abuse treatment is delivered is pretty unique," said David Friedman, director of addiction studies at Wake Forest University's medical school. Friedman added that recent comments by Obama administration officials about the role that demand reduction needs to play in fighting Mexican drug cartels indicates that McLellan's job could become very high-profile.

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