Trump cites brother's struggles with alcohol as driving force behind fight against opioids

Trump cites brother's struggles with alcohol as driving force behind fight against opioids
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE said in a new interview that his brother's death, which was related to alcoholism, triggered his interest in mobilizing the federal government to battle the opioid crisis.

Trump told The Washington Post that his brother Fred Trump Jr.'s struggles with alcohol directly influenced him to battle substance abuse issues, adding that he may not have found such issues as compelling "had I not had the experience with Fred."

"He was so handsome, and I saw what alcohol did to him even physically ... and that had an impact on me, too," the president told the Post.


His brother "actually lived a long time, longer than you would expect," Trump added. Fred Trump Jr. died in 1981 due to complications from alcoholism.

"Let's say I started drinking, it's very possible I wouldn't be talking to you right now," the president added, referring to his own choice to avoid alcohol or drugs.

He also said in the interview that he now views himself as the "chief" in charge of battling the opioid crisis in America.

"I guess you could say now I'm the chief of trying to solve it," he told the Post. "I don't know that I'd be working, devoting the kind of time and energy and even the money we are allocating to [solving the issue] ... I don't know that I'd be doing that had I not had the experience with Fred."

Trump held a summit on opioid abuse at the White House in April and in January donated $100,000 from his salary to the National Institutes of Health's flagship program on alcohol abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse.

“We will end this terrible menace, we will smash the grip of addiction,” he said earlier this year.

“We will not solve this epidemic overnight,” the president added. “[But] nothing’s going to stop us.”