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Melania Trump coming to Las Vegas for town hall on opioid abuse

WASHINGTON — First lady Melania Trump will visit Las Vegas on Tuesday for a town hall meeting on opioid abuse that will conclude a three-state tour to promote her “Be Best” initiative.

Each stop of the tour will focus on one of the three pillars of the initiative – the well-being of children, online safety and opioid abuse.

On Monday, the first lady heads to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she will visit an elementary school that focuses on incorporating character education throughout its curriculum. She then will visit a tech company near Seattle where she will learn about applications that teach children about online safety and technology meant to help children with disabilities.

The White House would not provide details about the town hall.

However, Liberty Journal, the news site for Liberty University, said the first lady will participate in a town hall put on by former Fox News personality Eric Bolling, whose 19-year-old son Eric died of a drug overdose in 2017. In November, the first lady attended a similar opioid abuse event hosted by Bolling at Liberty University.

Opioids accounted for more than two-thirds of all drug overdose deaths in 2017, an increase of 12 percent from the previous year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mrs. Trump launched her public awareness campaign to help children last May.

“As a mother and as first lady, it concerns me that in today’s fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and oftentimes turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction or even suicide,” she said.

“I feel strongly that as adults, we can and should ‘be best’ at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life.”

This will be Mrs. Trump’s second visit to Las Vegas as first lady, the White House confirmed. In October 2017, the first lady accompanied President Donald Trump for a visit to meet with victims of the Oct. 1 mass shooting that left 58 dead as well as heroes who came to the aid of others.

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or at 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

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