President Obama and Macklemore: A conversation about addiction
Today, President Obama and Grammy Award-winning artist Macklemore teamed up to discuss a disease that affects far too many Americans: addiction.
Here are the highlights:
Macklemore opened up about his own experience with addiction:
"I’m here with President Obama because I take this personally. I abused prescription drugs and battled addiction. If I hadn’t gotten the help I needed when I needed it, I might not be here today. And I want to help others facing the same challenges I did."
President Obama laid out why opioid abuse is a problem that affects all of us:
"Drug overdoses now take more lives every year than traffic accidents. Deaths from opioid overdoses have tripled since 2000. A lot of the time, they’re from legal drugs prescribed by a doctor. So addiction doesn’t always start in some dark alley -- it often starts in a medicine cabinet."
And the President talked about what we all can do to help:
"I’ve asked Congress to expand access to recovery services, and to give first responders the tools they need to treat overdoses before it’s too late. This week, the House passed several bills about opioids -- but unless they also make actual investments in more treatment, it won’t get Americans the help they need. On top of funding, doctors also need more training about the power of the pain medication they prescribe, and the risks they carry. Another way our country can help those suffering in private is to make this conversation public."
"The good news is, there’s hope. When we talk about opioid abuse as the public health problem it is, more people will seek the help they need. More people will find the strength to recover, just like Macklemore and millions of Americans have. We’ll see fewer preventable deaths and fewer broken families."
Watch their message here.