Billboard Depicting Drug Addiction Faces Criticism From Coshocton Residents


The image of a woman - apparently dead with a syringe in hand - is turning heads and upsetting families along a busy Coshocton highway.

The billboard is located at the junction of SR 83 and US 36 and is forcing parents to answer some difficult questions from their children. 

"I always try to stress with my kids, you ask me anything. I'll tell you anything,” said Heather Page, a Coshocton mother of four.  Page tells 10TV she was living on Fort Hood in Texas during the 2009 shooting there.

"Next thing you know, there was SWAT driving by the house, soldiers with their guns, tanks everywhere,” Page recalls.

For Page's oldest son Tyler, the shooting left a scar.  "He was just scared of everything: cops, sirens, everything,” she said.

Tyler then began asking questions.

"Every time a fire truck would go by…an ambulance…it was just, ‘What's that? What's going on? Is something wrong?’" Page said.

She says she has had to answer some additional tough questions lately.

She says that while driving through Coshocton, her son started asking questions about the billboard depicting drug addiction.

"He just asked, 'What happened to the guy?' He got hurt. He decided to use something he wasn't supposed to and he just needs to see a special doctor,” Page said she explained to her son.

The image on the billboard has Coshocton residents talking on Facebook.

One mother posted, "Am I the only one that doesn’t want to have to explain to my kids about the billboard on 36? Yes, I understand it’s real, it’s life, and it happens. My kids however do not need to be seeing it."

Another woman said, "A parent should be able to dictate when talks of these issues come about."

Page says she has decided to take the approach of being open and honest with her kids, no matter how tough their questions might be.

"Be honest,” she said. “If you shelter your kids, they're not going to know the real world. They're not going to know what's going on out there. They're going to go to school and hear it from a friend and go, ‘Mom, why didn't you tell me?’"