First Lady Melania Trump joined by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) hosted “Recovery Works: Celebrating Connections” a roundtable discussion at the White House in recognition of National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.
“Finding solutions to our nation’s drug problem has always been something I’ve cared deeply about, especially when it comes to its negative effects on children and families,” Melania said.
The First Lady opened the roundtable emphasizing “two important things in recovery” — the “power of tools” along with “resources in the workplace” and the “role of personal connection” to help one achieve sobriety. Melania stated her ‘Be Best’ initiative expands on these two themes by promoting “healthy relationships and strong families,” and “supporting people and programs in communities” to give children their best chance to succeed.
“The coronavirus pandemic has increased feelings of loneliness and sadness. For vulnerable populations, it has also increased the risk of substance abuse. But the American people are strong and always set-up to help one another in times of need. My husband and this Administration are also committed to making sure no one is left behind and the forgotten man and woman are forgotten no more,” Melania said.
“Our nation’s drug problem will not be solved by one person,” Melania continued. “It will take champions and care, families, communities, places of worship, and people like you, coming together to give our children the very best future.”
Joining Melania for Thursday event was ONDCP Director Jim Carroll, Surgeon General
Jerome Adams, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, First Lady of North Dakota Kathryn Burgum, and recovery-friendly employers and their employees.
Kudlow shared an emotional story of his personnel struggle with alcohol and drug abuse, opening up about his battle with addition, as he celebrated 25 years of sobriety this past June.
“I was a hopeless abuser of alcohol and drugs. I had tried several times unsuccessfully to get sober,” Kudlow shared. “Like a lot of my peers and friends. I went through bloody hell and suffered significant consequences. I’m not alone. Most of us had the same troubles. And I was unemployable.”
North Dakota’s First Lady Kathryn Burgum also shared her own journey of addiction and recovery, and thanked Melania for her work on this issue.
“Two things were really important to me in finding recovery,” Burgum said. “One was asking for help. And the second was an incredibly supportive work environment and a deeply understanding team leader that was pivotal in helping me find recovery.”
Participants also heard stories from regular everyday Americans of their recovery as well as employers who helped those battling these demons empower one to succeed and fight on.
Melania concluded by noting that, “in my time as First Lady, I have traveled to hospitals and rehabilitation centers around the county and have seen the devastating results of drug abuse and addiction. I have learned that addiction and drug abuse are universal issues that do not discriminate based on income, age, race, or wherever you live. I believe that promoting education and awareness on this issue is critical to overcoming this terrible trend, which is why I am joining you here today.”
“Our nation’s drug problem will not be solved by one person—it will take families, communities, places of worship, and many more coming together to help those who are vulnerable,” Melania said.
September is National Recovery Month for those who have struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. President Trump on Monday issued a proclamation officially commemorated Recovery Month.
This afternoon I will be hosting a roundtable with some incredible citizens in recovery & the amazing organizations that support them. I encourage the media to focus & report on the nation's drug crisis, not on delusional & malicious gossip.— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) September 3, 2020