Melania Trump meets with families affected by opioid withdrawal in newborns

Melania Trump meets with families affected by opioid withdrawal in newborns
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First lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpMelania Trump breaks ground on new White House tennis pavilion Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Buttigieg unveils aggressive plan to lower drug prices | Supreme Court abortion case poses major test for Trump picks | Trump takes heat from right over vaping crackdown Kroger to stop sales of e-cigarettes at stores MORE and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday met with families affected by neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a condition that afflicts babies exposed to opioids in the womb.

The meeting took place in Philadelphia, where Trump and Azar toured a neonatal intensive care unit.

“There are few things harder than seeing a newborn suffering,” Trump said at the meeting, according to a White House press pool transcript. “I am anxious to do all I can to help shine a light on this.”

Wednesday’s visit was part of Trump’s “Be Best” initiative, a public awareness campaign that focuses on children. She has taken an interest in NAS, and has visited hospitals in Tennessee and Ohio that treat babies experiencing opioid withdrawal.

The number of babies born with NAS has increased in the U.S. as the opioid epidemic grows. A baby is born with signs of NAS every 15 minutes in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Babies born with NAS experience withdrawal shortly after birth, caused by exposure to opioids in the womb.

Trump’s visit comes after her husband signed into law a bill that attempts to tackle the opioid epidemic through prevention, law enforcement and treatment.

“I am proud of the administration’s continued efforts in fighting opioid addiction,” Trump said Wednesday in Philadelphia, according to prepared remarks. “As the caretakers of the next generation, it is our responsibility to protect our most valuable and vulnerable, our children.”