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Pushing parents out of denial about drug use

The Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County joined forces with community and business leaders to form the Ohio Opioid Education Alliance and rolled out a new multimillion-dollar media campaign aimed at parents in preventing the use of opioids.

Ohio continues to have one of the highest overdose death rates in the nation, opioids are the driving force. Franklin County reported 520 overdoses in 2017, which was a 47 percent increase from 2016.

A new effort called the Ohio Opioid Education Alliance pulls together the Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County (ADAMH) along with business, civic and community partners in a multimillion-dollar media campaign.

The Alliance kicked off a media campaign developed with addiction experts and Ohio parents that was based on research that shows while most parents know about the opioid crisis they don’t have a firm grasp on how close the risk is to their own children and family.

For one family in Grove City, drug addiction was a reality. April Caudill said that she was like most parents, living in denial.

“It's suburbia and the kids are coming from there to this neighborhood and just...it's very sad," she said.

Caudill now runs a recovery house on the west side of Columbus for women working to beat their addiction.

Caudill and her husband have a blended family. Two of the four teenagers fell into opioid use: one is clean after three tries at treatment. The other died of an overdose after being clean for 18 months.