Melania Trump: Media Should Focus On Opioid Crisis, Not "Gossip"

By Kelly Burch 03/08/19

The First Lady addressed the opioid epidemic at a recent town hall meeting in Las Vegas. 

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Melania Trump
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First Lady Melania Trump called on the media this week to spend more time focusing on the opioid epidemic and less time on frivolous reporting. 

"I challenge the press to devote as much time to the lives lost and the potential lives that could be saved by dedicating the same amount of coverage that you do to idle gossip or trivial stories,” she said during a town hall meeting in Las Vegas on Tuesday (March 5).

The meeting was part of a three-stop tour highlighting her “Be Best” campaign, which focuses on youth and tackles topics including the dangers of opioids, according to NBC News.

The first lady continued, "I wish the media would talk about more and educate more children, also adults, parents, about the opioid crisis that we have in the United States. They do it already, but I think not enough.”

Trump said that coverage of the opioid epidemic should focus on the human toll of drug addiction. 

“When we see breaking news on TV, or the front pages of newspaper—it is my hope that it can be about how many lives we were able to save through education and honest dialogue,” she said. 

In her own home, she warns her 12-year-old son Barron that “drugs are dangerous. It will mess up your head. It will mess up your body and nothing comes positive out of it,” according to Time.

Mrs. Trump is focusing on the opioid epidemic as part of overall wellness for young people, and feels that education is a key component of that. 

“As a mother and as first lady, it concerns me that in today’s fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and oftentimes turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction or even suicide,” she said last year. “I feel strongly that as adults we can and should be best at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life.”

At the Las Vegas event, Trump spoke with Eric Bolling, a former anchor for Fox News. Bolling’s son Eric died at 19 from a drug overdose, and Bolling has spoken publicly about the loss, including in a White House video

"We never saw it coming," Bolling said. “We never thought we would get that call.”

In the video, Bolling emotionally warns parents that they need to be aware that any child can fall victim to opioids. 

"Not-my-kid syndrome is a killer. Because you just don't know. It could very well be your kid,” he said. “So do us all a favor. Do yourself a favor. Do your family a favor. Do your children a favor. Have the discussion with them and do it again. And again. Get involved in your kids' lives... You could save a life. “

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

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