Police in Ohio have shared heartbreaking photos, showing two adults overdosed and passed out on heroin whiletheir young son sitsin the back of the car.
Explaining their decision to make these distressing photos public, police said:
“We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug. We feel we need to be a voice for the children caught up in this horrible mess. This child can’t speak for himself but we are hopeful his story can convince another user to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody.”
Ohio is currently in the midst of an opioid epidemic – last year, there were 3,000 unintentional overdoses, which works out at eight a day.
Police had come across the couple – 47-year-oldJames Acord and 50-year-oldRhonda Pasek – when responding to reports of an incapacitated driver. They found James seemingly intoxicated (his head bobbing back and forth and his speech almost intelligible), but he managed to explain that he was driving Rhonda – who had overdosed – to the hospital.
Paramedics treated both James and Rhonda with drugs used to counter heroin overdoses, and both were subsequently arrested and charged. Rhonda has lost custody of her son, who is currently under the care of Children’s Services.
As the police said in their statement:
“We are well aware that some may be offended by these images and for that we are truly sorry, but it is time that the non drug using public sees what we are now dealing with on a daily basis. The poison known as heroin has taken a strong grip on many communities not just ours, the difference is we are willing to fight this problem until it’s gone and if that means we offend a few people along the way we are prepared to deal with that.”
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Images via City of East Liverpool, Ohio