- First Lady Melania Trump on Thursday touted her efforts to prevent substance abuse less than two days after her husband mocked Hunter Biden's drug addiction.
- In the pre-recorded video, the White House director of drug control policy praises the president and first lady's personal dedication to ending substance abuse.
- But during Tuesday's debate, President Donald Trump went after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son over his past cocaine use.
- Donald Trump Jr. followed that by calling Hunter a "crackhead."
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First Lady Melania Trump released a video on Thursday promoting the administration's efforts to prevent substance abuse less than two days after President Donald Trump mocked Hunter Biden's drug addiction during the first presidential debate.
"In my time as first lady, I have worked to raise awareness about the risks and dangers of drug use among our youth through my 'Be Best' initiative," Melania said in a pre-recorded video recognizing National Substance Use Prevention Month. "It's important that we support our next generation and teach them about the dangers of drug use."
Jim Carroll, the White House director of drug control policy, also appeared in the video and praised the president's commitment to "ending the drug epidemic in the United States."
"As President Trump's principal adviser on drug policy, I have seen first-hand how dedicated our country's first family is to substance use prevention, in our communities, our families, and especially among our children," Carroll added.
—Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) October 1, 2020
This announcement comes on the heels of Tuesday's debate when Trump mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, for having had a drug addiction.
Trump falsely said that Hunter was dishonorably discharged from the military because of substance abuse and that he "didn't have a job" until his father began working in the White House. Hunter tested positive for cocaine, which led to an administrative discharge in 2014. He also worked as an attorney and lobbyist after attending Yale Law School.
"Hunter got thrown out of the military," Trump said. "He was thrown out, dishonorably discharged for cocaine use. And he didn't have a job until you were vice president."
The former vice president defended his son and noted that many Americans have experienced the same struggle with drugs.
"My son, like a lot of people, like a lot of people you know at home, had a drug problem," Biden said. "He's overtaken it. He's fixed it. He's worked on it, and I'm proud of him."
The president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., has recently taken to publicly calling Hunter a "crackhead."
Tens of millions of Americans suffer from substance abuse and addiction, and drug overdoses and deaths have surged to record highs this year amid the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis. About one in 10 Americans struggle with drug abuse at some point in their lives and one in eight suffer from an alcohol addiction at some point, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams said last year that the "the biggest killer" when it comes to substance abuse is the stigma associated with it. Mocking those with addiction heightens that deadly stigma.
"Stigma keeps people in the shadows. Stigma keeps people from coming forward and asking for help," Adams said. "Stigma keeps families from admitting that there is a problem."