Obama enlists Macklemore in opioid fight

President Obama has enlisted Macklemore in criticizing a lack of new funding to fight the national opioid addiction crisis, with the rapper speaking of his own battle against prescription drug abuse.

"I’m here with President Obama because I take this personally," the Grammy-winning artist says in the president's weekly address released Saturday. 


"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," Macklemore added.

Obama noted in the address that opioid deaths have tripled since 2000, and Macklemore spoke of losing a friend at the age of 21 who overdosed on painkillers. 

Obama continued to blast a lack of new funding in the 18 bills addressing opioid and heroin addiction Republicans moved through the House this week.

The White House has pushed for more than $1 billion in new funding for programs.

Opioids were involved in more than 28,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2014 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those bills will be merged into a final package as soon as next week and combined with legislation the Senate passed and sent to Obama's desk over the summer.

"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," Obama said in his address.

"On top of funding, doctors also need more training about the power of the pain medication they prescribe, and the risks they carry," Obama said.