Resources for prescription drug abusers flourish, Former addict & husband honored

<font size="2">Lucas County Commissioners named May 2014 as Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness &amp; Education Month.</font>

As addictions to prescription medications grow in the U.S., northwest Ohio is expanding its efforts to address the issue, in part thanks to the work of a former addict and her husband.

WNWO has kept up with April Schalow, a Holland mother of 4, since she and her husband began their efforts to raise public awareness of the prescription drug abuse epidemic.

Schalow and her husband, Kyle, created and run a non-profit called the Rx Memorial Foundation.

On Saturday, the pair will also participate in one of several northwest Ohio "Prescription Drug Take Back" events.

READ: Several northwest Ohio communities hold Prescription Drug Take Back collections

The Schalow's will volunteer in an event sponsored by the Lucas County Sheriff's Office at Springfield Township Fire station #3's drop off (Garden and Holloway Roads) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

On May 2, the couple will also put together their annual Rx Memorial including performances, guest speakers and resources for those battling addiction.

The day also marks Ohio's first "Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness and Education Day", created by Ohio HB 399, proposed by a legislator who was inspired by the Schalow's and passed by lawmakers earlier this year.

READ: Holland couple takes their pain pill battle to Statehouse

Earlier this week, the Schalow's were also recognized by Lucas County Commissioners, which named May 2014 as Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness & Education Month. They also designated the first Friday in October as Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness & Education Day in Lucas County.

According to the Foundation for a Drug Free World, in the U.S. alone, more than 15 million people abuse prescription drugs which is higher than those who reported abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants and heroin.

There are also more than 26,000 fatal drug overdoses each year in the U.S. and prescription drugs are the leading cause of them, according to the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse.