Melania Trump to Liberty University Students: Remove the Stigma of Opioid Addiction

Nov 28, 2018

First Lady Melania Trump Wednesday stressed the need to remove the stigma from opioid addiction. She also opened up about what she tells her own son about the danger.

Raising awareness about the opioid crisis is one of the goals of Melania Trump’s Be Best initiative. And she brought that message to thousands of Liberty University students in Lynchburg.

"We need to support people who are addicted and to get rid of stigma," Mrs. Trump said.

Trump added that it was important to speak to younger generations about the issue.  She said she’d talked with her 12-year-old son Barron. "He’s at that age that sometimes it seems like they don’t listen," Trump quipped. "But they listen. They remember everything that you tell them."

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the amount of opioid painkillers prescribed by doctors is declining, but a change of attitude is still needed. "This addiction is not a moral failing," Azar told students.  "It is a medical issue and there are medical ways that we can bring you out of it.  And it might be a lifetime of recovery but there are ways we can help you."

The Secretary of Homeland Security said more work is needed to interdict shipments of deadly fentanyl. Kirstjen Nielsen said most of that drug comes through the mail from China.

Conservative commentator Eric Bolling, who’s own son died of a drug overdose in 2017, moderated the discussion.  It will be broadcast on Sinclair-owned television stations around the country.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.