New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (Mel Evans, AP)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s poignant tale of a friend whose life spiraled out of control after he became addicted to pain killers has gone viral.

Speaking to a rapt audience in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Christie shared the moving story of a former law school chum who became addicted to Percocet after injuring his back during a normal jog. It led to a 10-year odyssey that resulted in desperation, divorce and ultimately death at the age of 52 in a hotel room with an empty bottle of pain killers and an empty bottle of vodka.

“By every measure that we define success in this country this guy had it: Great looking guy. Well-educated. Great career. Plenty of money. Beautiful loving wife. Beautiful children. Great house. He had everything. He’ s a drug addict. And he couldn’t get help and he’s dead. And when I sat there as the governor of New Jersey at his funeral and looked across the pew at his three daughters sobbing ’cause their dad is gone … There but for the grace of God go I. It can happen to anyone.”

Watch the entire segment that Huffington Post captured:

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Christie’s point: Drug addition is an illness that deserves treatment, not a crime that warrants jail time unless the offender is violent.

“This is a disease and people need to be treated for this disease,” he later told Martha MacCallum on Fox News.

The video of Christie’s speech raked up nearly 5.8 million views on Facebook as of Thursday afternoon.