U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, talks about her mother’s struggles with prescription drugs and mental illness in a new TV ad, telling viewers “I know how hard this fight is.”

The ad comes on the heels of Baldwin opening up publicly last week for the first time about her mother, who died in August.

Baldwin begins the 60-second spot saying she used to come home from school, but couldn’t get into the house. She’d pound on the door, but her mother was passed out inside and wouldn’t answer. Baldwin says her mother struggled with addiction to prescription drugs her whole life and she had to “grow up fast.”

“So when I see the opioid crisis that is wrecking so many Wisconsin families, all I can tell you is I’ve been there,” Baldwin says. “I know how hard this fight is. I know the stigma that comes with drug abuse and mental illness.”

Baldwin, who has been criticized for her handling of a report on the overprescription of painkillers at the Tomah VA, then says she’s worked with Republicans and Dems to “get the funding Wisconsin needs so people have somewhere to turn for help.”

“This is a crisis for our country and far too many Wisconsin families,” Baldwin says before closing the ad saying she approves the message “because this fight hits close to home.”

The spot, the fifth Baldwin’s campaign has released, will run in Milwaukee, Green Bay, Wausau, Eau Claire and La Crosse. While the other ads have run on dual tracks, the campaign only plans to air the new spot for now.

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