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Ohio’s Woman: Jo Anna Krohn

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio - A  teacher’s aid who lost her teenage son to prescription drug abuse is now educating and supporting those who have lost loved ones.

Jo Ann Krohn has Gov. Kasich’s attention after helping people in rural Scioto County, reported ONN’s Denise Alex.

Wesley Workman died in 2008. Devastated and distraught, the Scioto County mom knew she had to go on and reached out to others dealing with similar loss.

“I started a group, about five people came, then more people the next month and it took off,” said Jo Ann Krohn in her West Portsmouth home.

The group is called SOLACE, Surviving Our Loss And Continuing Everyday. The group, 40 members strong, made it’s presence known.

“I think putting a face to the deaths was what brought all the attention in,” said Krohn.

It wasn’t long before SOLACE showed up at the Ohio Statehouse, alerting lawmakers to the epidemic and helping create legislation targeting illegal pain clinics.

The women of SOLACE took on the battle against prescription drug abuse statewide.

“SOLACE is in Meigs County, Pickaway County, Ashtabula, starting one in Athens and in Fairfield County,” said Krohn.

Krohn can now be seen in even more Ohio counties, on billboards. She was one of four Ohioans selected be the face of the “Don’t Get Me Started” campaign to help raise awareness about prescription drug abuse.

“I’m just being guided by something bigger than me,” said Krohn.

But the ultimate honor for the West Portsmouth woman came when Kasich awarded her a medal of courage during his State of the State address in Steubenville.

“When I saw this I was speechless. It was the greatest day of my life,” said Krohn looking at her silver medal with her name embossed on it.

She says the medal also belongs to her son Wes who will always be with her in spirit whether it’s going to schools to educate kids about the dangers of drugs or supporting those tangled in its web.

“We are making strides.  We are taking steps forward but there’s always something we have to fight.”

See the video at ONN

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