Heroin Problem Personal For Central Ohio Family

UPDATED: Tuesday December 10, 2013 7:07 PM

While state lawmakers begin debate over a package of anti-drug laws, the issue has become personal for one family.

"He was such a good boy," said Melissa Mintier talking about her son James.

Several months ago, at just 24 years old, he overdosed on heroin.

"He used to say he'd hear it calling him," said Melissa.  "Heroin is the most evil drug."

Today was Melissa's first day back to work since James' death.

She says while he struggled through addiction as a teen, eventually leading to prison time, they had hoped earlier this year that he had turned his life around.

"He has a 4 year old daughter who now grows up without her dad," said Melissa.  "This necklace is what I have left of my son.  It's horrible."

At the statehouse, a group of bipartisan lawmakers proposed today 11 bills aimed at the drug problem.

"We have to keep those struggling with addiction alive," said Representative Robert Sprague of Findlay.

The package includes $180 million dollars on recovery housing for addicts.

It requires schools to provide opiate addiction education, and new standards for medical treatment of chronic pain.

And it would mandate all doctors to check the state automated drug reporting system before prescribing pain killers.

For Melissa, her hope is that her son’s death will help bring attention to the heroin problem and save the pain for other families.

"If it saves one child then I have to know in my heart maybe it was worth it," said Melissa.

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