Ohio’s Lieutenant Governor’s Two Sons Struggled With Drug Addiction

By Victoria Kim 06/08/17

Mary Taylor spoke about her sons' difficult paths to recovery in a new interview.

Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor
Photo YouTube

Political power or socioeconomic status do not exempt anybody from the powerlessness of drug addiction. Mary Taylor, the lieutenant governor of Ohio, and her family went through it and struggled for years before finally arriving at some form of recovery.

Lt. Governor Taylor, who is running for governor of Ohio next year, spoke with My Dayton Daily News about what is was like to watch her two sons Joe, 26, and Michael, 23, endure overdoses, hospitalizations, and failed rehab treatments over the last five years.

Now with Joe and Michael both in recovery, Taylor recalled the terrifying moments the family witnessed as they struggled to find solutions. “When you’re in a crisis mode, every day is ‘just get by, get through.’ And we are not there today,” she told My Dayton Daily News. “We are not out of the woods, but we’re not in a crisis mode.”

Her sons declined to speak with the Daily News, but gave Taylor the OK to tell their stories, in hopes that it will help other families, especially Ohioans. “Both of them said if it helps somebody, then it’s worth it,” she said.

According to the Daily News, 21,003 Ohioans have died as a result of opioid addiction over the last decade. In May, The Columbus Dispatch reported that more than 4,000 people died of drug overdose in Ohio in 2016 alone.

“I know people who have lost their kids,” said Taylor. “I’ve been to a funeral of somebody, a young person, who died of a hero overdose. It’s not pretty. Until we found the treatment that worked for (our sons), the voice of worry was very loud and it was very scary. Very scary.”

Even with the family’s political power, Taylor still felt helpless when it came to finding help for her sons. She recalls hesitating to ask for help, even though she had access to the state’s top experts. “It may have been the stigma. I think our general public understanding of this addiction crisis that exists in Ohio today is a lot different than it was five years ago, four years ago,” she said.

For families who are currently going through it, Taylor says to never give up hope. “There can be a light at the end of the tunnel where you may today feel like you can’t see the light,” she told the Daily News.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is also running for governor in 2018. He recently filed a lawsuit against five pharmaceutical companies including the maker of OxyContin, accusing them of contributing to the growing opioid addiction and overdose epidemic in Ohio.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr