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Addiction On The Campaign Trail, Jeb Bush Shares His Daughter’s Story

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When it comes to addiction, and specifically the opioid epidemic plaguing the country, New Hampshire is among the hardest-hit states. As of December 2015, drug overdose deaths in New Hampshire were expected to hit 400 for the year – double what they were in 2011.

Related: Governor Christie On Addiction In America

Jeb Bush Daughter and Addiction

Every four years, New Hampshire gains the national spotlight as the host of the country’s first primary election. As the New Hampshire primary date approaches, both republicans and democrats have brought the topic of addiction and the so-called “War On drugs” into sharp focus.

Candidates get personal

During a GOP debate, republican candidate Carly Fiorina called for criminal justice reform in regards to drug laws, and shared that she herself had “buried a child to drug addiction.”

In November, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made an emotional video in a New Hampshire tavern where he recounted a story of a college friend who ultimately lost his life to a painkiller addiction.

And just this week, Jeb Bush, who is typically characterized by an unemotional, pragmatic demeanor, opened up about his family’s experience with drug addiction in a guest blog post he wrote for Medium.

In it, he recounts how his daughter Noelle’s addiction was heartbreaking and frustrating, and because he was the governor of Florida at the time, it was also very public.

“I never expected to see my precious daughter in jail,” he wrote. “ It wasn’t easy, and it became very public when I was Governor of Florida, making things even more difficult for Noelle. She went through hell, so did her mom, and so did I.”

Unlike Governor Christie and Ms. Fiorina, Bush’s story has a happier ending, though. Eventually, Noelle got care and got clean. In early January, Bush spoke in New Hampshire at a forum on addiction, and shared (with her permission) Noelle’s story. He described her completion of the Florida drug court program as “an extraordinary event,” and said that being part of it made him realize how many other families were facing the same struggle with addiction.

Bush lays out his drug policy

On Medium, Mr. Bush laid out a plan for combating the growing addiction crisis, with tactics that include stopping the flow of illegal drugs from Mexico, improving treatment and recovery programs, and developing more effective Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs).

Finding a program of your own

Addiction is a mounting problem in nearly every corner of the United States. If you’re dealing with alcoholism or other substance abuse problem, you’re not alone and you can get help. Recovery is possible, but it’s not something you can do on your own. Don’t wait another day to get the care you need. If you or a loved one needs professional care for addiction recovery, call The Watershed today: 1-800-861-1768.

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