President Barack Obama and rapper Macklemore joined forces to raise awareness of opioid abuse in the White House’s latest Your Weekly Address video. The video released Saturday morning features POTUS and the rapper speaking on the dangers of opioid addiction.
“Deaths from opioid overdoses have tripled since 2000,” Obama said. “A lot of time, they’re from legal drugs prescribed from a doctor, so addiction doesn’t always start in some dark alley; it often starts in a medicine cabinet.”
In the video, the Grammy-Award winning musician spoke on his personal experience with addiction. In addition to his own battle with the disease, a friend of his overdosed on painkillers when he was only 21 years old. “Addiction is like any other disease: It doesn’t discriminate,” said Macklemore. “It doesn’t care what color you are, whether you’re a guy or a girl, rich or poor, whether you live in an inner city, suburb, or rural America. This doesn’t just happen to other peoples’ kids or some other neighborhood; it can happen to any of us.”
Opioid addiction has been in the limelight recently as Prince’s tragic death is rumored to be caused by an opioid overdose. The icon had allegedly been using opioids to combat chronic pain developed from decades of performing in high heels.
The video is a part of the president’s call to Congress “to pass the $1.1 billion in new funding in his Budget to make sure that every American with an opioid use disorder who wants treatment can get the help they need,” the White House said in a statement.
Watch the full interview above.