DEFIANCE, Ohio (WFFT) - Millions of American are addicted to some sort of opioids.
Community leaders gathered in Defiance Wednesday to try to figure out how to curb the problem in Ohio.
More people in Ohio are dying from drug overdoses more than any other state in the country.
For one family at the forum, they decided to be part of the solution.
"I'm not the same mom to my other two children. Every holiday is different," said Mary Juarez.
Mary Juarez lost her son to a drug overdose April 18, 2010, just two days after his 31st birthday.
She were at Ohio 5th District Representative Bob Latta's Opioid Epidemic forum at Defiance College Wednesday.
She wanted to find out what resources are available for her organization, "Never Let Go."
"That morning in the emergency room, I promised him I would do anything I can to prevent another family from going through this," Juarez said.
Juarez's son, like many in northwest Ohio, overdosed on prescription medication.
More than 2.1 million Americans are addicted to painkillers.
That's one of the many reason why Congressman Latta hosted Wednesday's forum.
"The opioid addiction is destroying people's lives. It's destroying families, people can't work, employees can't find employees. It's across the communities," he said.
Juarez said it's taking time to mourn the death of her son.
"I've finally adjusted to the fact I'm a different mom. I'm a different person. It changes families forever," she said.
Congressman Latta said he's working on a law to help track information and data on efforts to fight the drug war.
The goal of the bill is to help find effective solutions.
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