The opioid epidemic is the No. 1 killer of Americans under 50 years old—a startling reality that former Fox News host Eric Bolling spoke about in personal terms.
Bolling delivered remarks Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference and told The Daily Signal about the tragedy that shocked his family last year.
Bolling’s only son, Eric Chase, died on Sept. 8 from an overdose of Xanax laced with fentanyl. He was 19 and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder.
During his CPAC panel with Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum, Bolling emphasized the alarming number of opioid deaths affecting families like his own.
It was this devastating, unexpected tragedy that forced Bolling to become “an accidental expert.” To prevent other families from going through the same pain, he has taken his own initiative to fight the opioid crisis and contribute to a growing dialogue.
Bolling maintains an active and engaging Twitter feed, which has raised awareness of the epidemic. It also allows him to connect directly on a personal level with others who have been affected.
In an interview with The Daily Signal following his panel, Bolling stressed the importance of confronting the challenges and not ignoring warning signs.
Bolling has not limited his outreach to social media. He personally has spoken with President Donald Trump about the opioid crisis on several occasions, including visits to the White House.
Bolling told the CPAC crowd an emotional story that took place on Thanksgiving, his first holiday without Eric Chase. Trump called Bolling to wish him well and show his support.
He cautioned Americans against adopting a “not my kid” attitude.
CPAC, the largest annual national gathering of conservative activists, runs Thursday to Saturday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington.