Former president Bill Clinton said the opioid epidemic“creeps into every nook and cranny of our country” and needs to be addressed as both a huge national problem and a community-by-community tragedy.
Otherwise, he said, “this can rob our country of the future.”
Clinton spoke Wednesday at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, which drew more than 3,000 experts in fields such as addiction, law enforcement and medicine. He shared personal experiences as well as thoughts about strategies that work and the challenges ahead.
Several times, he told the crowd there’s no room for stigma in the face of such an urgent and widespread problem. Nearly every family is touched by the issue — including his. Not only does he have family members who have struggled with drug abuse, he said at least five close friends lost their children to overdoses, including two native Arkansans, first-generation immigrants from India and Kosovo and African-American preachers.