[VIDEO] Macklemore, Obama speak out on opioid addiction, treatment program initiatives

Published by Dan SW


President Obama and Macklemore have partnered to release a statement on the rise of prescription pain medication overdoses in the US. The video statement follows the high-profile deaths of wrestler Joanie Lauer (Chyna) and legendary musician Prince, both linked to prescription pain medications.

According to the statistics presented, deaths from opioids in the US have tripled since 2000. Common prescribed opioids include hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin and Percocet), morphine, and codeine (Tylenol 3).

Macklemore has always been vocal, both on his records and in public, about his struggles with addiction. In the video, he acknowledges that he would not be here today had he not received help to combat his addiction to prescription medication. He also spoke about the loss of a friend at age 21 to a prescription overdose.

Obama used the opportunity to discuss the work his administration is doing with communities to reduce overdose deaths, and to empower law enforcement to use treatment as an alternative to jail. Obama also noted that health insurance packages are now required to include treatment program coverage. Further new bills have been passed in the House or pushed into Congress to deal with opioids specifically, and to expand access to the recovery services.
Of specific note were the need for doctors to receive better training on the power and risks of the pain medications they prescribe.

Obama and Macklemore stressed that part of solving the problem of addiction involves making conversations about addiction public, without characterizing addiction as a personal choice or failing, in order to both minimize private suffering and to encourage more people to seek the help they need.

The full conversation is to be broadcast on MTV this summer.