Kasich honors Kroger's efforts to combat drug abuse

By MARC KOVAC @ohiocapitalblog mkovac@dixcom.com Published:

COLUMBUS -- Gov. John Kasich honored one grocery store chain for its participation in a state campaign to combat drug abuse, and he challenged other Ohio businesses to join the effort, too.

Kroger is among the first businesses to commit to displaying new "Start Talking" posters and distributing drug abuse information to shoppers statewide.

"I want to know how many other businesses are willing to do what Kroger's done?" the governor said during a press conference at the suburban Columbus store where he does his grocery shopping.

Kasich and other state officials have been urging parents and others to have frank discussions with children about the dangers of drug use and abuse, with a focus on combatting improper use of prescription painkillers and the proliferation of heroin.

The state's "Start Talking" campaign includes outreach into schools.

"Drugs are everywhere in Ohio," said Tracy Plouck, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. "(It's) very unfortunate, but it is the truth, and the more that we can talk about how to secure medication in the home, within the community, and how to look for signs that young may be using, those are all steps that are adding value to the ability of our young people to grow up and be productive members of our society."

Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) said he and his wife are already having discussions with their two children, ages 7 and 9, about drug addition.

"We can treat, we can counsel, but we're a heck of a lot better off if we can prevent," he said. "And this program, 'Start Talking,' is focused on prevention. I encourage you... have that conversation with your kids.... We're trying to do our part in our home. I encourage you to do the same."

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