Hillary Clinton Promises to Tackle 'Quiet Epidemic' of Substance Abuse

By May Wilkerson 04/22/15

The former Secretary of State pledged this week to make substance abuse and mental health an issue in her campaign.

Hillary Clinton

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has promised to make the “quiet epidemic” of substance abuse, and mental health issues in general, a central part of  her campaign for President of the United States.

Speaking to voters in New Hampshire on Monday, the Democratic presidential hopeful said substance abuse is "not just something we can brush under the rug.”

The statements were made during a roundtable discussion with employees at a furniture manufacturer in Keene, N.H., a key primary state. "I want to hear from people of New Hampshire, what's on their minds," said Clinton, who is holding small events in towns across the country to hear about problems affecting communities.

When one employee mentioned that drug abuse is a growing problem in Keene, Clinton mentioned the town of Austin, Ind., where drug use and sharing of dirty needles led to an HIV outbreak. She said more resources should be spent on drug treatment.

"I have to tell you, before I went to Iowa last week I wasn't aware of the depth of feeling people had about substance abuse issues, so here again, I heard it in New Hampshire, so I want people to know that I'm listening,” Clinton told reporters after the event.

Clinton addressed a number of other issues at the event, including taxes, childcare, and Social Security. She also dismissed recent allegations by Republicans that the State Department gave preferential treatment to foreign governments that had donated to the Clinton Foundation during her time as secretary of state. She called these allegations a "distraction.”

"It is, I think, worth noting that the Republicans seem to only be talking about me," she said. "I don't know what they'd talk about if I wasn't in the race, but I am in the race and hopefully we'll get on to the issues."

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.