An Ohio town released shocking images of a man and woman overdosed on heroin in their car while a 4-year-old child was in the backseat. They did this to send a message to drug users about the danger they pose to others, especially children, as the state of Ohio faces a growing heroin epidemic.
The man, James Acord, was driving behind a school bus when he allowed his car to drift into an angle on the street. East Liverpool police officer Kevin Thompson approached the car after seeing this. 47-year-old Acord, who had unintelligible speech and “pin point pupils,” told him that he was taking the passenger, Rhonda Pasek, to the hospital, according to the police report. After Acord attempted to shift the car back into drive, Thompson reached in, turned off the vehicle and took the keys, as it was clear that Acord was in no condition to be operating it.City of East Liverpool
This is when Thompson noticed a 4-year-old boy who had been in the backseat the entire time, later identified as Pasek’s son. 50-year old Pasek was already unconscious and turning blue, with Acord losing consciousness during the interrogation. EMS responders revived both adults with Narcan, used to reverse opiate overdoses, and they were taken to the hospital.
Acord was charged with operating a vehicle while impaired, endangering a child and slowing down in a roadway. Pasek was charged with endangering a child, not wearing a seatbelt and public intoxication. The young child was taken to the police department where Columbiana County Children’s Services responded. This was when the city decided to release the nauseating photos of the overdosed couple.City of East Liverpool
City of East Liverpool
“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,” the city wrote on Facebook. “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.”
In terms of public reaction, the city is prepared to take on the backlash. “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,” they continued. “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.”
Clearly, drugs never affect just the user. These photos prove just that.