Columba Bush highlights Adelsons' work on substance abuse

Washington (CNN)The wife of Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush took the opportunity Monday to praise the work of Miriam Adelson, spouse to Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson, in fighting substance abuse.

Columba Bush, the former first lady of Florida who is largely behind the scenes on the campaign trail, highlighted the work of the Adelsons' substance abuse treatment and research clinic in addressing the latest drug epidemic that Bush said is "sweeping across Nevada and the rest of our nation." The presidential candidate's wife recently toured the Las Vegas facility with Miriam Adelson, who is also a physician.
The Adelsons have not yet endorsed a candidate in the Republican primary race, though several White House hopefuls have met with him and are seeking his deep-pocketed support.
Columba Bush's op-ed, published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, comes days after Jeb Bush referred to his daughter's drug addiction when asked in New Hampshire about how he would address the surging heroin and opioid drug addiction growing in that state and others in the U.S.
    Jeb and Columba's daughter, Noelle Bush, had struggled with drug addiction and was arrested in 2002 for trying to fill a false prescription and later sentenced to 10 days in jail after she was found with crack cocaine in a drug rehab center.
    "People need to stay together in this regard," Jeb Bush said Wednesday during a town hall forum in New Hampshire. "And, look, I have some personal experience with this as a dad, and it is the most heartbreaking thing in the world to have to go through."
    Columba Bush also used the op-ed as an opportunity to highlight her and her husband's efforts to address substance abuse and bolster prevention efforts. Columba Bush made domestic violence and substance abuse her top priorities as Florida's first lady.
    "Throughout my husband's two terms as governor, we focused our efforts on both prevention and intervention efforts," Columba Bush wrote in the piece published Monday. "Jeb and I worked diligently to dismantle the stigma associated with talking about substance abuse in our families and our communities by continuously using our voices and experiences to raise awareness and educate others."
    Nevada will be a key state in the primary and general election because of its growing Hispanic population and is expected to be a battleground in 2016.
    Jeb Bush snagged the endorsement of one of Nevada's senators, Republican Dean Heller, just two weeks ago.