Mrs. Trump says that by thinking of the faces behind the statistics “we have the potential to not just reduce, but eliminate” the tens of thousands of deaths that are attributed to opioids annually. Federal statistics show that nearly 48,000 Americans died in 2017 after overdosing on the powerful painkillers.
The first lady spoke Tuesday during a town hall-style conversation in Las Vegas on the opioid epidemic. She is using the event to close a two-day, three-state tour to promote her “Be Best” initiative, which includes a focus on babies born dependent on opioids.
President Donald Trump has declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency.