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Florida First Lady Talks About Anti-Drug Fight

November 13, 2002|From Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida First Lady Columba Bush told high school students Tuesday that she decided to devote her life to fighting drug abuse after learning of her daughter's addiction.

"My heart is broken because my daughter has a problem," Bush told students at the Florida Statewide Drug Prevention Conference in Orlando.

"The minute I realized that my daughter faced the same temptations that most of the children face each day, I decided to devote my life to this cause."

Noelle Bush, President Bush's 25-year-old niece, is undergoing treatment at a drug rehabilitation center. She was sent there after being arrested in January for allegedly trying to use a fraudulent prescription to buy an anti-anxiety drug.

She was jailed for 10 days last month after being accused of possessing crack cocaine while in the center.

Columba Bush recounted how her charmed life as Gov. Jeb Bush's wife went awry after she learned about her daughter's drug problem.

"I have not stopped one day speaking to all the young people how terrible things can be," she said.

Students at the conference said they were impressed with Bush's openness.

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