Opioid addiction: Melania Trump gets involved

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Melania Trump
First Lady Melania Trump and US President Donald Trump (not pictured) attend the 60th Annual Red Cross Gala at Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, US, February 4, 2017. Reuters/Carlos Barria

Amid crisis related to drug addiction in the United States, Melania Trump has announced she will be in attendance at a meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price. The meeting’s setting was at Trump's golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Trump is reportedly staying there while the West Wing undergoes renovations for most of August. Melania’s announcement came more than nine months after declaring she would dedicate herself to fighting cyber bullying as the first lady.

Prescription pain killers have become a problem for several Americans, particularly to those who struggle with addiction. It is now the main cause of death in people under 50, with an average of 176 Americans dying of drug overdose every day.

The FLOTUS’ part in tackling the opioid epidemic is unclear, but a statement from the White House to the Daily News recognises opioid abuse as an escalating health crisis affecting families across the country. “The well-being of children is a priority for the First Lady, and this epidemic affects them in many different ways so she requested to attend today's briefing,” the statement reads.

Melania has decided to talk about the issue of drug addiction in the United States through a Twitter post. Just moments after her tweet was posted, negative response came quick. "Opioids are destroying our youth/people," the US first lady tweeted out. She accompanied it with the hash tag #STOPDRUGADDICTION.

Some Twitters users were quick to point out that the Trumps are actually the ones destroying the youth and the people of America. One Twitter user said she was meeting with her friends to give her support to #STOPTHETRUMPS.

Others talked about the need for Medicaid. Twitter user @thesmilingknife said people need the treatment programs provided by Medicaid to survive and get off drugs.

The Socialist Party also reacted about the issue, saying poverty and inequality cause despair and hopelessness. These lead people to turn to drugs as a way to escape “poverty caused by people like Trump,” the party’s social media page reads.

US President Donald Trump has suggested that the way to avoid opioid addiction is to never start using the drug. However, studies have found that one of the main variables in opioid addiction is a doctor's prescription, with several overdose deaths that stem from prescription opioid medications. Over 14,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioid in 2014 alone, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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