Obama Inspires Addict to Hand Over His Drugs

After hearing president's speech, man decides to get drug-free for his mom
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2015 12:49 PM CDT
Obama Inspires Addict to Hand Over His Drugs
President Obama speaks at the East End Family Resource Center in Charleston, West Virginia, on Oct. 21. Obama hosted a community discussion on the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Drug overdoses, particularly due to opioids, are one of the few public health issues that has "substantially worsened" during Obama's time in office, the New York Times reports. But the president may have helped at least one person turn his life around following a speech Oct. 21 in West Virginia. According to WSAZ, a local resident called 911 after listening to Obama and admitted he needed help for drug addiction. He didn't respond to calls back from 911 dispatchers, and the Kanawha County sheriff sent deputies to his home. The man reiterated to deputies that he needed help for addiction and showed them a cooler full of marijuana, ecstasy, 158 pain pills, and drug paraphernalia.

The man, who admitted to being a heavy drug user, told deputies he watched Obama's speech and decided he wanted to get drug-free for his mother, WSAZ reports. The man was taken to a treatment center, where he chose to start a rehab program. "No criminal charges were filed in connection with this matter, and none will be filed," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "We applaud this person’s self-initiated efforts and wish him well in his recovery." During the Oct. 21 event in Charleston, Obama listened to stories from the mother of an addict and a police chief, among others, the Times reports. “I did stuff, and I’ve been very honest about it,” he said about his own past drug use. “So when I think about it, there but for the grace of God.” (More Barack Obama stories.)

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