First lady asks public to see opioid crisis as ‘human story’

LAS VEGAS (AP) — First lady Melania Trump is asking the public to look beyond the raw numbers and to see the opioid crisis as a “human story.”

Mrs. Trump says that by thinking of the faces behind the statistics “we have the potential to not just reduce, but eliminate” the tens of thousands of deaths that are attributed to opioids annually. Federal statistics show that nearly 48,000 Americans died in 2017 after overdosing on the powerful painkillers.

The first lady spoke Tuesday during a town hall-style conversation in Las Vegas on the opioid epidemic. She is using the event to close a two-day, three-state tour to promote her “Be Best” initiative, which includes a focus on babies born dependent on opioids.

President Donald Trump has declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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