In President Obama’s Weekly Address he decided to focus on substance abuse, taking on the topic of prescription opioids in particular. Joining him was Grammy award-winning artist Macklemore, who has previously shared information about his own recovery.
The President made it a point to discuss the rising statistics surrounding painkiller addiction by stating that overdose deaths have tripled since 2000. “A lot of the time, they’re from legal drugs prescribed by a doctor. So addiction doesn’t always start in some dark alley – it often starts in a medicine cabinet,” he said.
Adding to this, Macklemore said that he lost a friend of his to a painkiller overdose when he was 21. “Addiction is like any other disease,” said the artist, “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 the inner-city, a suburb, or rural America. This doesn’t just happen to other people’s kids or in some other neighborhood.”
Macklemore stated that a treatment program and the 12 steps helped to save his life many years ago. Being a role model for millions of fans gives him the chance to be a strong advocate for recovery as well as substance abuse prevention.
A more in-depth interview between the two will air this summer on MTV as part of a special show about addiction.