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Ohio is addicted. But even as prescription drug abuse continues to leave the state riddled with desperate junkies and early deaths, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is pushing to find the cure.

DeWine announced the first National Drug Take-Back Day of 2012 yesterday to continue to address the rampant prescription drug-abuse problem in Ohio.

DeWine, flanked by representatives of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and others, said the April 28 event would help keep unused or outdated prescription pills from falling into children's hands or being taken by burglars.

"The mere fact that they have (prescription drugs) in their home presents a risk, and we're working to eliminate that risk," DeWine said.

Accidental drug overdoses in Ohio peaked at a record 1,544 deaths in 2010 after a decade-long increase.

"The statistics are surprising, if not astounding," he said. "It is very important that every Ohioan pay attention to the messages communicated on the billboards."

The prescription drug-abuse problem also extends to Ohio businesses.

"For the Ohio chamber, this is really about helping to have a ready and available work force," Woggon said.

The Drug Take-Back will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., when people can drop off unwanted prescription drugs at sites across the state. The drugs then will be disposed of in incinerators approved by the Environmental Protection Association, said Ken Etchison, an agent with the DEA.

In the past 13 months, Take-Back Days have removed almost 1 million pounds of medication from circulation nationwide, according to a DEA release.

But DeWine said the problem is bigger than the proliferation of pills and it can be addressed only by a cultural change.

"We still lose Ohioans every week who die of prescription drug overdoses," DeWine said. "We all need to understand that just because it's prescribed does not mean it can't kill you."