Melania Trump on opioid crisis: We need to get rid of 'stigma' that comes with addiction

Melania Trump on opioid crisis: We need to get rid of 'stigma' that comes with addiction
© Stefani Reynolds

First lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpWhite House release Trumps' 2018 official Christmas portrait Three biggest immigration issues Congress needs to tackle The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump rips Dems as shutdown looms | Congress deadlocked | Flynn associates charged will illegal lobbying MORE spoke about the importance of raising awareness about the opioid crisis and ending the stigma associated with addiction Wednesday.

"The chances of you knowing someone who struggles with it are very high," Trump told an audience at Liberty University gathered for an event on the opioid crisis.

"If you, or someone you know, needs help, you need to be brave enough to ask and strong enough to stand with them as they fight through the disease," she said.

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The first lady has emphasized dealing with the opioid crisis and particularly children born addicted to opioids as part of her "Be Best" initiative.

On Wednesday, she emphasized that need to care for those effected by opioid addiction and argued that it needed to be regarded as any other disease.

"We need to support people who are addicted and to get rid of stigma that comes with opioid addiction," she said.
 
"We need to be there for them and talk to them and of course to get the professional help as well," she said, adding that the best way to do so so is to encourage those affected to pour their energy into positive outlets, "to be there for them and love them whenever they need you."
 
The first lady agreed that the opioid epidemic is the worst health crisis to face the U.S.
 
"It is the worst crisis and I think in the past years we didn't talk much about it ... now we really need to step up," she said.