East Kingston’s Jim and Jeanne Moser stood in front of President Donald Trump in the White House’s East Room Thursday with a photo of their son Adam. Trump reached out, placing his hand on Adam’s face.
The Mosers traveled to Washington for Trump’s declaration of the opioid epidemic as a nationwide public health emergency.
The declaration won’t bring new money to the crisis that took the life of 485 Granite Staters in 2016, but it will expand access to medical services in rural areas, among other changes.
“This epidemic is a national health emergency,” Trump said in a speech at the White House, claiming the disease has spared no part of American society. “As Americans we cannot allow this to continue,” he said.
Twenty-seven-year-old Adam Moser died from an apparent fentanyl overdose in Portsmouth in September 2015. His unknown “prescription drug hobby,” which his parents discovered after his death, prompted them to create a platform advocating for prescription safety, specifically a campaign called “Zero Left.”
In the year after Adam’s death, they created a short documentary, in partnership with Narrow Street Films, to allow their son’s death to teach others about the dangers of opioids.
Adam, who played football at Exeter High School, had a degree in actuarial science from Temple University. He was proficient in high-level math, fluent in French and taught himself Russian and Arabic. He was known for his role as a fisherman on the National Geographic Channel’s reality show “Wicked Tuna.”
“This whole thing kind of surprised us, we were honored to be invited down here,” Jim Moser said after the declaration Thursday. Moser said they received the invitation on Tuesday from the same people who orchestrated former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price’s visit to Manchester in May, in which the Mosers attended.
“To people naïve as us, it was interesting because I’ve never even been to the White House,” Moser said. “To meet the president is an honor.”
Moser said underneath Trump’s talk, “it didn’t involve a lot of money that I can see, but maybe some things will occur that I don’t understand.”
In what Moser called an “interesting experience,” Trump saw the photograph of Adam and reached out personally to Jeanne.
“In a President Trump fashion, he said some things that were pretty blunt towards prescription opioids,” Moser said, “Which Jeanne and I agree with. Our whole platform is prescription safety and handling it correctly.”
Jim Moser will join Sen. Jeanne Shaheen at the Concord Police Department Friday to promote National Drug Take Back Day, which is coming Saturday, Oct. 28.