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Kasich Announces New, Parent-Focused Anti-Drug Initiative

COLUMBUS (Chris Vanocur/Ken Hines) -- A new year brings a new warning about teenage drug use from Ohio's leaders.

Governor John Kasich and Attorney General Mike DeWine joined together Wednesday to announce the formation of a new anti-drug initiative called Start Talking.

The program is designed to encourage parents to talk to their children about the dangers associated with drug use.

Recovering heroin addict Sam Buehler joined Kasich and DeWine during the announcement of the Start Talking initiative, at which time he told those in attendance -- as well as those watching online -- about his struggles with drug abuse.

Buehler said his drug problem began with marijuana, then grew to include pills and heroin.

"I didn't ever think I was like those people who would do hard drugs," Buehler said. "I never thought I would let myself get to that point."

Buehler said his addiction cost him his health, girlfriend, and education, as well as approximately $200 a day for heroin.

After speaking at Wednesday's event, Buehler received a hug from Governor Kasich, who called on parents to join with health and law enforcement workers to prevent children from falling victim to drug addiction.

"Start Talking pulls together many proven strategies, giving us some very potent tools that let us come at the problem from all sides," the governor said. "It's a tough problem that calls for an even tougher fight. But it's a fight we must win, because our future -- our children -- are at stake."
 
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