MILWAUKEE — The Latest on U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin discussing her mother's opioid addiction (all times local):
Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin says she too has been personally affected by the opioid crisis.
Baldwin opened up Tuesday about her mother's addiction to prescribed pain medication and her struggle with mental illness. Baldwin says she hopes that by telling her story she can empower others who are also struggling.
Baldwin sat at a kitchen table in Milwaukee with a 29-year-old mother of four who also shared her story about her father's addictions.
Baldwin says she was ready to talk about it in more detail after being moved by powerful testimony at a Senate hearing in February on the opioid crisis. Baldwin says her mother's death in August was also a catalyst.
Baldwin says, "What good does it do if everyone just keeps these little secrets? This affects all of us."
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is opening up about her mother's opioid addiction, telling the story in the hopes it will empower others also affected by the opioid crisis.
Baldwin on Tuesday said she felt the time was right after her mother's death in August and a recent Senate health committee hearing where she was moved by the stories of families affected by opioid abuse.
Baldwin was raised by her grandparents but has never talked in detail about why. She says her mother struggled with mental illness and was addicted to powerful narcotics that were prescribed to help her deal with both chronic and sometimes acute pain.
She says the current opioid addiction epidemic "hits close to home for me and for so many others."