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Ohio Attorney General Announces Program To Help Families Hurt By Opioid Epidemic

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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a program to help families hurt by parents' addiction to painkillers and heroin.

The $3.6 million START program was unveiled Wednesday in Columbus, and it aims to aid children in 14 Ohio counties who were abused or neglected because of parental drug use.

Parents of children in the program will also receive drug treatment during the two-year pilot.

The Public Children Services Association of Ohio says parental drug use was responsible for half of all children placed into foster care in 2015. But Ohio's Jobs and Family Services director says that Governor Kasich's proposed budget provides no additional money for drug-abuse related child protection services.

Meanwhile, local agencies - especially in rural counties - have reported being understaffed and underfunded due to the opioid crisis.

The Franklin County Coroner said last week that nearly a person a day is dying in central Ohio by overdosing on the painkiller fentanyl