A viral video of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) railing against how society treats drug addiction has generated newfound interest in how presidential candidates have dealt with the issue.
In Christie’s case, he described a very successful law-school friend who became addicted to pain-killers and having to go to his funeral.
He compared his friend’s drug addiction to his mother getting lung cancer after being addicted to cigarettes.
“We know the lung cancer was caused by the smoking,” Christie said in a video posted by The Huffington Post last Friday that has since accumulated almost 6 million views.
“But no one came to me and said, ‘Hey, listen, your mother was dumb,” he said. “Somehow, if it’s heroin or cocaine or alcohol, we say, ‘They decided it. They’re getting what they deserved.'”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) since gave an emotional interview to The Huffington Post about his daughter Noelle’s struggle with drug addiction.
“I don’t know what it’s like to lose a daughter, but I almost did,” Bush said on board his campaign bus.
“My daughter … she went through hell. And so did her mum and so did her dad,” he said. “It became very public when I was governor. And it wasn’t easy. I visited her in jail. I never expected to see my beautiful daughter in jail.”
Bush added: “I have so many friends and so many people I’ve known that have gone through this. It crosses all barriers, all lines, all races, all income. So, it’s not easy. With my daughter, she’s doing fine now. But it’s with you for the rest of your life. “
And in a CNN interview on Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) discussed struggling with his half-sister Miriam’s addiction and her eventual death.
Cruz, who has opened up about the subject before, said, “It’s a horrible disease, and I’ve seen it first-hand.”
“Her parents got divorced when she was a little girl, and Miriam was always very angry about it. And it consumed her. And she smart. She was beautiful. And yet her whole life she lived basically as an angry teenager. She was sort of frozen, emotionally, in a state of rebellion,” Cruz said.
“She made decision after decision that was the wrong decision. And she struggled her whole life with drug and alcohol addiction. She was in and out of prison for petty crimes,” he continued. “But she kept associating with people who were really bad actors.”
Cruz said that when he was a young adult, his half-sister was actually living in a crack house in Philadelphia. Cruz said he and his dad visited her there to try and urge her to turn her life around.
“She, a few years ago, overdosed one night. And [her son] Joey came to the apartment and found her dead,” Cruz said.
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