Melania Trump heading to West Virginia to discuss opioid epidemic

Melania Trump heading to West Virginia to discuss opioid epidemic
© Stefani Reynolds

First lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpWhy we cherish — and guard — the White House gingerbread house The Hill's 12:30 Report: Job growth soars in November Impeachment hearing didn't go as Chairman Nadler planned MORE is visiting Huntington, W.Va., on Monday to discuss the opioid epidemic with state and local leaders.

The first lady's office said she will meet with smaller community groups to listen to their testimonials and learn about resources offered to residents.  

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Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is also visiting Huntington on Monday to meet with local law enforcement and political leaders on the opioid epidemic.

The agency did not say whether McAleenan is joining the first lady on parts or all of her visit, but he is expected to meet with Gov. Jim Justice (R) and Sens. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoGOP senators unveil bill to expand 'opportunity zone' reporting requirements ICE emerges as stumbling block in government funding talks Congress braces for chaotic December MORE (R-W.Va.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinStatesmen seek bipartisan solutions to big challenges Both sides have reason to want speedy Trump impeachment trial No one wins with pro-abortion litmus test MORE (D-W.Va.).

The first lady has made tackling opioid abuse one of the key pillars of her "Be Best" initiative and has visited multiple hospitals and community centers focused on combating the problem.

She previously visited Lily's Place, an infant recovery center that helps families dealing with addiction, during an October 2017 trip to West Virginia.

The Mountain State has been at the center of the opioid epidemic in recent years, according to federal data.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that West Virginia has the highest age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving opioids. The state had the highest percentage of deaths per 100,000 persons of anywhere in the country in 2017.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE has declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency to free up additional resources to combat the epidemic, which claimed the lives of nearly 50,000 Americans in 2017.

Updated at 10:34 a.m.