An Ohio bill would require schools to include information in their health curricula about preventing abuse of prescription drugs.
State law already mandates instruction about nutrition, alcohol abuse and personal safety among other topics.
Under the proposal passed by the House last week, schools would be required to update their health curricula with information about the addictive properties of prescription opioids and their links to heroin.
On Wednesday, Ohio Governor John Kasich announced the launch of a statewide drug education program called “Start Talking.” The program encourages parents and teachers to talk to young people about the dangers of heroin and prescription drugs.
At the launch event at West Carrollton Middle School south of Dayton, many of the speeches were emotional.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has formed a unit of his office to deal with what he says is a heroin epidemic in Ohio.
“Frankly we have to fight this epidemic at the grass roots level, community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, village by village, township by township, city by city," says DeWine. "Communities have to get mad and simply say enough is enough. New information our office has recently collected suggests that, at a minimum, eleven people die each week in Ohio because of heroin. "
The Ohio State Highway Patrol has reported more drug-related arrests and seizures in Ohio in the first half of this year compared with the first six months of 2012.
Recently released patrol statistics show troopers made 4,728 drug arrests January through June for an 18 percent increase over the same period last year. The Dayton Daily News reports that is a rise of 42 percent compared to the average number of arrests from 2010 through 2012.