Virginia Tech professor to brief White House officials

University says meeting is confidential

By Tommy Lopez - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

WASHINGTON - A Virginia Tech professor is giving a presentation to a group of White House officials Tuesday, according to a university spokesperson.

Dr. Warren Bickel is scheduled for a briefing Tuesday in Washington, D.C., on drug-addiction research, focusing on opioids.

The meeting is confidential and Bickel won’t be able to talk about what’s discussed. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy sent Bickel an invitation last week.

President Donald Trump’s administration declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency last year.

A university spokesperson says Bickel will talk about his research examining why people use illegal drugs even though they know choosing to do so will cause them long-term harm.

Some areas of Bickel’s research suggests that people addicted to opioids have a short-term focus. They only think of their future in terms of the next nine days, compared to the average person who thinks about his or her future in terms of the next five years.

Bickel is an addiction neuroscientist at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and director of the VTCRI Addiction Recovery Research Center. He works with behavioral health research and is a faculty member in the Department of Psychology in the Virginia Tech College of Science. He’s been researching addiction for more than 30 years.

Bickel created a registry for those overcoming addiction.

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