HOOKSETT, N.H. — Sen. Ted Cruz, his voice quiet, stood behind a podium and talked about the death of his sister, who struggled with addiction.
“Her son found her in bed. The coroner ruled it accidental. We’ll never know. We just got the call one day that Miriam was gone,” an emotional Cruz said after recounting his sister’s life. She was a beautiful woman who let a young Cruz pull her hair, but Miriam was angry. She partied hard. She got into a car accident and became addicted to pain pills. She lived in a crack house. Cruz took out a $20,000 cash advance to send her son to military school.
“You know, as a family you wonder, could I have done more? Was there a way to pull her back? Was there a way to change the path she was on? Those are questions you never fully answer,” Cruz said.
Cruz first told the story in his book, “A Time for Truth,” and has recounted it a few times in New Hampshire. But this was Cruz at his most emotional, describing the toll drug abuse has taken on his family at a substance abuse forum in a state that has been ravaged by the nation’s heroin epidemic.
“It’s destroying lives,” Cruz said of the opiate epidemic. Nationwide, the number of heroin overdose deaths has quadrupled in the past decade. Here in New Hampshire, at least 399 people died of drug overdoses in 2015, the majority from opiates. At least 151 of them were caused by fentanyl, a powerful synthetic drug that is often cut into heroin.
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