The first lady of the United States Melania Trump will travel to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, next week for a "town hall" style discussion about the opioid epidemic that is part of the first lady's "Be Best" campaign. The event will feature a number of other participants, including, USA Today reported, the mother of pop super star Demi Lovato.
Dianna De La Garza has first-hand experience dealing with the opioid crisis that she can bring to the event, as her daughter Demi struggles with addiction--something she has been extremely upfront and open about with her fans and the rest of the world. Earlier this summer, the singer suffered a near-fatal heroin overdose in her home in L.A. that sent her to the hospital. The Confident singer recently re-emerged into the public eye after receiving treatment in rehab, and according to her mother, is doing "really well."
Per People, De La Garza spoke for the first time in September--shortly before Demi left from rehab--about her daughter's overdose during an interview with NewsMax TV.
"I was in shock. I didn't know what to say. It was just something that I never, ever expected to hear as a parent, about any of my kids," De La Garza explained about when she found out about Demi's health crisis from her then-assistant Kelsey Kershner. "And I hesitated to ask, but I had to ask her--I remember it just seemed like the words took forever to come out of my mouth. I said, 'Is she OK?'"She explained that she rushed to the hospital with her two other daughters, Dallas and Madison, and upon seeing and speaking to her daughter "never allowed myself to think that things wouldn't be OK." Dianna and the first lady will also be joined by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielson, as well as former Fox News host Eric Bolling. Bolling's college-aged son tragically died last year after overdosing on a mix of cocaine and the painkiller fentanyl, USA Today reported. Melania had previously joined forces with Alex Azar last month when the Hill reported they met with families affected by the opioid epidemic in Philadelphia.
President Trump has also made an effort to curb opioid abuse, signing a bill last month that included several provisions to fight the crisis."Together we are going to end the scourge of drug addiction in America," the president said during a White House ceremony in October. "We are either going to end it or we are going to make an extremely big dent in this terrible, terrible problem."