What is Start Talking! all about?
An effort is underway across Ohio to prevent drug use among Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens – our children. Start Talking was developed to give parents, guardians, educators and community leaders the tools to start the conversation with Ohio’s youth about the importance of living healthy, drug-free lives.
A majority of substance-free adolescents credit their parents for the decision not to use illegal substances. Likewise, teachers and other authority figures can have a similar influence on youth and their decision-making.
Parents, mentors and peers can make a difference just by talking to the young people in their lives about drug use. Please Start Talking!
Why was Start Talking! created?
Drug use is a public health epidemic and Ohio is not immune. Use of illegal substances and misuse of prescription medications are both to blame for disability and/or early death among our youth. A dramatic increase in prescribing over the past decade has brought these dangerous medications into the homes of the majority of Ohioans. As a result, addiction to prescription pain medications and their chemical lookalike, heroin, is on the rise.
Ohio has made attacking the drug problem a priority, and since 2011, the state has adopted a multi-pronged approach to fight drug abuse from all angles. Efforts are underway to promote public and professional education, ramp up enforcement and interdiction efforts on our highways, and expand treatment options and recovery supports so those struggling with addiction can get back onto their feet and into the workforce.