WASHINGTON, DC-On Thursday, the White House held an opioid abuse roundtable that included representatives united in the fight against drug abuse. The event was hosted by First Lady Melania Trump and White House advisor Kellyanne Conway was present.
According to Jon Salant, the White House Press Pool correspondent on Thursday, Melania Trump kicked off the opioid roundtable, saying addressing the crisis would be a focus as the first lady. “I’m here to listen and learn,” she said.
She sat in the middle of the table, with Kellyanne Conway to her immediate left, and HHS Secretary Tom Price and N.J. Gov. Chris Christie at either end. The others at the table were participants in the roundtable.
“We all know the harrowing statistics: 11 million Americans using opioids and 91 dying each day from them,” Conway said. “These are not statistics. These are our children, our nieces, and nephews, our friends. This is no longer someone else’s kids, someone else’s co-worker, someone else’s community. Everyone in this country is impacted by drug addiction and by the opioid crisis.”
Fire Chief Daniel Goonan of New Hampshire discussed his “safe stations” program, where people who need help can come to a fire station for help. They have treated 2,500 people so far.
Rebecca Crowder of West Virginia is executive director of Lily’s Place, a neonatal facility for babies born exposed to opioids. While caring for the infants, the facility also offers help to parents, including drug treatment and job assistance.
Cecilia Brown of West Virginia was joined by her husband Bobby. They spoke of the loss of their son, Ryan, who overdosed from heroin in the bathroom of a mall department store. “We said we did not want one more person to die,” Cecilia Brown said. “That’s what drives us to come speak.”