More and more, U.S. citizens are dying from drug overdoses — something JoJo has experienced firsthand: Her father died in November 2015 after a long struggle with addiction. And in a new video encouraging people to vote, the singer discusses how she wants to change the way this country deals with addiction.
“It’s hard to have sympathy for a lot of drug addicts because we think it’s their fault, or they asked for it or something,” she begins in a PSA posted Tuesady. “But you do not ask to have your life shaken up that way and to have everything taken from you. That’s what addiction does. It strips everything from you.”
JoJo highlights the ongoing opioid epidemic in the clip, where the Massachusetts native says she sees it “destroying the communities in New England,” she sees it “destroying families.” “I see the way it’s broken my own family.”
Opioids are a class of drugs that includes oxycodone (such as OxyContin), hydrocodone (like Vicodin), and heroin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids lead to the majority of drug overdose deaths, and “78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.”
Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have mentioned the opioid epidemic in their campaigns, but they have very different approaches to fixing it: Clinton is more focused on recovery — prioritizing rehab over jail time and making treatment facilities more accessible — while Trump is concerned with stopping the supply.
“It’s important to elect politicians who will make a difference with drug abuse and addiction, because it’s affecting all of us,” JoJo says. “I really believe that you can wake up and change your life if you have the right resources and you believe. Just because so many people have lost their struggle to addiction doesn’t mean that another person can’t have that victory.”
Watch the full video below.