President Obama: Hi, everybody. I've got a special guest with me this week – Macklemore. For those of you who don't share the same love for hip-hop that I do, he's a Grammy-winning artist, but he's also an advocate who's giving voice to a disease that we too often just whisper about: the disease of addiction.
Macklemore: Hey, everybody. I'm here with President Obama because I take this personally. I abused prescription drugs and I battled addiction. If I hadn't gotten the help that I needed when I needed it, I definitely would not be here today. And I want to help others facing the same challenges that I did.
President Obama: And drug overdoses now take more lives every year than traffic accidents. Deaths from opioid overdoses have tripled since 2000. A lot of time, they're from legal drugs prescribed by a doctor. So, addiction doesn't always start in some dark alley – it often starts in a medicine cabinet. In fact, a new study released this month found that 44 percent of Americans know someone who has been addicted to prescription pain killers.
Macklemore: I didn't just know someone – I lost someone. My friend Kevin overdosed on painkillers when he was just 21 years old. Addiction is like any other disease – it doesn't discriminate. It doesn't care what color you are, whether you're a guy or a girl, rich or poor, whether you live in the inner-city, a suburb, or rural America. This doesn't just happen to other people's kids or in some other neighborhood. It can happen to any of us.
President Obama: That's why just talking about this crisis isn't enough – we need to get treatment to more people who need it. My administration is working with communities to reduce overdose deaths, including with medication. We're working with law enforcement to help people get into treatment instead of jail. And under Obamacare, health plans in the marketpl