Obama And Macklemore Made The Realest Video About Drug Addiction In America
The data is in: Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than traffic accidents.
In his weekly address to the nation, President Obama asked Congress to pass $1.1 billion in new funding to make sure addicts can get the treatment they need.
He was joined by a special guest who's faced drug problems of his own: Grammy Award-winning rapper Macklemore.
After being introduced by the president, Macklemore said,
I take this personally. I abused prescription drugs and I battled addiction. If I hadn't gotten the help that I needed when I needed it, I definitely would not be here today. And I want to help others facing the same challenges that I did.
Drug overdose deaths have tripled since 2000, and oftentimes these drugs are prescribed by doctors, Obama noted.
At this point, Macklemore shared a tragic story of his own and basically dropped the mic on the seriousness of this disease.
I didn't just know someone. I lost someone. My friend Kevin overdosed on painkillers when he was just 21 years old. Addiction is like any other disease. It doesn't discriminate. It doesn't care what color you are, whether you're a guy or a girl, rich or poor, whether you live in a inner city, a suburb or rural America. This doesn't just happen to other people's kids or in some other neighborhood. It could happen to any of us.
Obama did say Congress passed laws to help addicts, but that the measures in place are not enough.
However, Obama said, the first step is for all of us to start conversations about addiction and help remove the stigma.
With his last remarks, Macklemore explained how important getting rid of that stigma is.
When you're going through it, it's hard to imagine there could be anything worse than addiction. But, shame and this stigma associated with the disease keeps too many people from seeking the help that they actually need. Addiction isn't a personal choice or a personal failing, and sometimes it takes more than a strong will to get better. It takes a strong community and accessible resources... We have to tell people who need help that it's OK to ask for it. We gotta make sure they know where to get it.
If Macklemore's plea didn't sell the idea, Obama's summary of why America needs more treatment sure did.
Obama succinctly said,
We'll see fewer preventable deaths and fewer broken families.
Check out the video above for Obama and Macklemore's full statements, and if you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, call 1-800-662-HELP.