First lady Melania Trump has championed a few causes since her husband took office two years ago. One of those is an anti-bullying campaign, which she has named Be Best. Another campaign that she just recently announced is the opioid epidemic and drug recovery.
Part of that cause involves dealing with the problem of drugs at the source. Many of the drugs that make their way into the U.S. come from Colombia. To deal with the issue, the White House has announced that President Donald Trump and Melania will be hosting the president and first lady of Colombia next week, according to the Washington Times.
While the Colombian first family is in Washington, D.C., Melania intends to have meetings with her Colombian counterpart, Maria Juliana Ruiz Sandoval.
"I will have a plan to talk to her about the crisis of opioids," Melania explained.
The hope is that the two governments working together will be able to stem the high levels of cocaine production in Colombia. The result of the major increase in production in recent years is that the number of deaths caused by drug overdoses in the U.S. has increased dramatically.
Another major concern is the fact that people are now able to buy drugs over the internet, making it even easier for addicts to get access to drugs from South American countries like Colombia.With the visit coming up next week, Melania addressed a group of 500 teenagers from the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) National Leadership Forum about the drug problem, commending them for working to improve their own communities.
"What you are learning in these workshops are vital tools that will help make a difference in our nation and our world. You are our greatest agents for change. Through your voices, you have the power to influence, transform, and lead your communities from within. You can lead by example every day among your peers, your friends, your classmates, and your teammates," Melania said.
The first lady also praised those who have fought hard to get clean after a drug addiction, telling her audience that recovery is always possible, and life-changing for so many.
Melania is also concerned about the fact that vaping is becoming increasingly popular among the youth, and recent studies seem to indicate that it may be just as dangerous health-wise as smoking normal nicotine cigarettes.
"It's like a whole box of cigarettes," she said. "Another issue that we need to deal with."