Rapper and songwriter Macklemore joins U.S. President Barack Obama in his weekly radio and web address and calls for more action to help those addicted to prescription pain medicines. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Story: Grammy Award-winning artist Macklemore joined U.S. President Barack Obama to encourage an open conversation about drug addiction and about taking steps to battle the disease. In his weekly radio and web address released on Saturday (May 14), Obama described drug abuse as a "public health problem" and called for making investments in treating patients as well as training doctors about the risks of prescribing pain medications. Macklemore, who has been public about his past substance abuse issues and his recovery, said drug addiction affected people from all walks of life, but the stigma associated with the disease often prevented patients to seek help. Obama, who earlier this year asked the U.S. Congress for $1.1 billion in new funding over two years to expand treatment for the epidemic, has faced criticism for not doing more to fight the problem sooner. Opioid addiction has become an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. In 2014, a record number of Americans died from drug overdoses, with the highest rates seen in West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio.