Ohio overdose deaths soar even as awareness campaigns are launched

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COLUMBUS (AP) – Anti-opioid ad campaigns have targeted Ohio communities for years even as drug overdose deaths continued to soar in the hard-hit state.

More than 2,500 people died of overdoses in Ohio in 2014, the same year Republican Gov. John Kasich launched his anti-drug abuse “Start Talking” campaign to encourage parents and adults to talk to children about the dangers of drugs.

Ohio’s overdose deaths jumped to 4,050 last year, many attributable to heroin and deadly synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

Ohio launched a $200,000 campaign last year urging drug users’ relatives and friends and other members of the public to know the signs of an overdose and obtain an antidote drug.

Experts say the key to fighting drug abuse are programs that produce changes in behavior, not just an emotional reaction.

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