Appearing at an opioid addiction town hall in Las Vegas, First Lady Melania Trump said she talks to son Barron about "how drugs are dangerous"

By Adam Carlson
March 06, 2019 12:32 PM
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Barron, Melania and Donald Trump
| Credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty

As part of her signature “Be Best” initiative, First Lady Melania Trump is encouraging families across the country to educate their children about the realities and dangers of drug use, especially the opioid epidemic.

She’s had those same conversations with her own son, 12-year-old Barron Trump, she said Tuesday at an opioid crisis town hall in Las Vegas hosted by Eric Bolling.

“I teach him,” Melania told Bolling about Barron. “I try to explain how drugs are dangerous and it will mess up your head, it will mess up your body and nothing comes positive out of it.”

Melania, 48, appeared at the Vegas event as part of a two-day, three-state tour in support of “Be Best,” which is focused on children’s welfare, including anti-bullying efforts.

Bolling, a former Fox News host, has been hosting these opioid crisis town halls around the country in the wake of his son’s 2017 death from a fentanyl overdose while in college.

In his own introductory remarks, Bolling briefly — wrenchingly — remembered the phone call from his son’s girlfriend telling him about the overdose.

“I don’t want to be an opioid expert … but what we’re doing here is trying to save one life,” he said. “I think we’re saving literally thousands, but one is enough.”

The first lady delivered a 10-minute speech at the event before participating in a brief question-and-answer session with Bolling.

First Lady Melania Trump speaking in Las Vegas at an opioid addiction town hall on Tuesday

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First Lady Melania Trump (right) speaking with Eric Bolling in Las Vegas at an opioid addiction town hall on Tuesday
| Credit: Patrick Semansky/AP/REX/Shutterstock

“The United States is by far the largest consumer of opioids, using more pills per person than any other country in the world. In fact, overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999 and now account for the majority of fatal drug overdoses,” Melania told attendees. “These overdoses are being driven by a huge increase in addiction to prescription painkillers, heroin and now fentanyl. No part of our society or our country has been spared from the deadly disease of drug addiction.”

“As the statistics very clearly demonstrate, it is the worst drug crisis in American history,” Melania continued.

But she lauded the work of various hospitals and government agencies in trying to save lives. Among others she spotlighted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its campaign RX Awareness; the Postal Service, which “has strengthened its inspection of packages coming into our country”; and the Maternal Addiction, Treatment, Education and Research program at Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

“I have said this before — but it bears repeating: While you may never personally become addicted, the chances of you knowing someone who struggles with it are high,” the first lady said.

“If even one of you leaves here today and talks to a friend or family member about the potential to end this crisis,” she said, “then we have succeeded.”