Today, First Lady Melania Trump and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) partnered together to host “Recovery at Work: Celebrating Connections” in recognition of National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. The White House officially commemorated Recovery Month with a Proclamation issued by President Trump on August 31, 2020.
The First Lady was joined by ONDCP Director Jim Carroll, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, First Lady of North Dakota Kathryn Burgum, and recovery-friendly employers and their employees.
The First Lady opened the roundtable by thanking ONDCP, and those in attendance, for recognizing all Americans in recovery and the incredible organizations that support them. Mrs. Trump emphasized that “today, we are here to highlight two important things in recovery: the power of recovery tools and resources in the workplace, and the role personal connection to others plays in achieving sobriety.” The First Lady’s Be Best initiative expands upon these themes by promoting healthy relationships and strong families, and by supporting the people and programs in communities that give children their best chance to succeed.
Following the First Lady’s remarks, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow shared his personal story of recovery and his path towards sobriety, followed by Surgeon General Adams who described how “gainful employment is an important part of getting and staying healthy.” First Lady of North Dakota Kathryn Burgum then shared her journey, including the factors that played a role in her recovery. The participants also heard stories from individuals in recovery from substance use disorder, as well as the employers who help empower their success.
Mrs. Trump encouraged more employers to eliminate stigma by creating work environments that enhance the mental and physical well-being of employees. The First Lady noted that, “in my time as First Lady, I have traveled to hospitals and rehabilitation centers around the county and have seen the devastating results of drug abuse and addiction. I have learned that addiction and drug abuse are universal issues that do not discriminate based on income, age, race, or wherever you live. I believe that promoting education and awareness on this issue is critical to overcoming this terrible trend, which is why I am joining you here today.”