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Ventura County Mother Who Lost Son To Drug Overdose Tells Story To Spotlight Opioid Abuse

Susan Klimusko of Simi Valley lost her son, Austin, to a drug overdose, and is now active in efforts to control opiod abuse in Ventura County

It’s an epidemic in America.

An estimated two million people are addicted to prescription painkillers, and opioids are behind more than 20,000 overdose deaths a year. 

A Ventura County mother who lost her son to drugs is speaking out to help fight the problem.

Susan Klimusko's son, Austin died from a heroin overdose.

Stories like this have become far too common around the county, and here on the Central and South Coasts.

It prompted the Gold Coast Health Plan, and Ventura County Behaviorial Health to host what they called the Opioid Policy Summit, for the medical community, government policy makers, and law enforcement.

Klimusko shared her story to put a name, and a face to the problem in our region. She says she knows nothing will bring back her son, Austin. She’s dedicated her life to helping to fight opioid abuse.

Her goal is simple: It's to try to keep other parents from getting that painful phone call they will never forget.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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