By Devan Cole
WASHINGTON (CNN) —The White House is using a new website to collect and share stories from Americans about how they or someone they know overcame opioid addiction.
The website invites visitors to “share your story below by uploading a video about how you overcame addiction, volunteered at a recovery center, or worked as a family to help a loved one get on the path to recovery.” Below that is a link to a form where individuals can upload their stories and an accompanying note.
The website, which the President announced earlier this month, frames the issue as “the crisis next door.” It comes after Trump said his administration will push a “large-scale” ad campaign aimed at combating the opioid epidemic. The administration is also proposing stiffer penalties for high-intensity drug traffickers, including the death penalty for some.
In a video statement, President Donald Trump says the crisis is all around, but that fact is too often forgotten.
“Stigma, silence and a lack of information prevent us from confronting this crisis as we should,” the President said. “We launch this website to bring together the stories behind the opioid epidemic.”
Thirty-two videos are currently featured on the page. They were submitted from all around the country, from New Hampshire to Michigan, and from Colorado to California. The stories, Trump says, are “stories of despair and shock, but also of community, recovery and hope.”
Most of the storytellers are everyday Americans, but former Major League Baseball player Darryl Strawberry and his wife, Tracy, former Fox News host Eric Bolling and US Surgeon General Jerome Adams shared their stories too.
Adams said his brother is currently serving prison time for crimes he committed to support his addiction.
“His illness has affected my entire family: emotionally, medically and financially,” he said.
Encouraging others to share their stories, Adams said, “I’m hopeful that by sharing my story, it’ll help people understand that addiction touches every community and that they are not alone.”
In another video, a man from Virginia said he’s sharing the story of how he overcame addiction to “let you guys know there is hope out there. There is a way to get away from addiction.”
Last year, the President declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency, a move that allowed federal agencies to provide more grant money to combat the epidemic.
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