Macklemore made history Saturday morning as the first non-administration official to appear with President Barack Obama during his weekly address to talk about the nation’s opioid addiction problem, according to a White House spokesperson.
“I’m here with President Obama because I take this personally,” Macklemore said in the address. “I have abused prescription drugs and battled addiction. If I hadn’t gotten the help I needed when I needed it, I might not be here today. And I want to help others facing the same challenges I did.”
Obama noted that overdoses currently takes more lives than traffic accidents every year and cited a new study that found that 44 percent of Americans know someone who had been addicted to prescription painkillers.
“So addiction doesn’t always start in some dark alley — it often starts in a medicine cabinet,” Obama said. “Just talking about this crisis isn’t enough. We need to get treatment to more people who need it. My administration is working with communities to reduce overdose deaths. We’re working with law enforcement to help people get into treatment instead of jail.”
The joint session was part of Macklemore’s visit to the White House on Thursday to talk about opioid addiction with President Obama as part of a one-hour documentary about opioid abuse the rapper is developing with MTV, which will air later this year.
Macklemore encouraged those who are struggling to find treatment in their area to call 1-800-662-HELP.