Graphic images of unconscious adults high in what's believed to be heroin were posted on East Liverpool City's Facebook page on Friday, Sept. 9, to highlight the harsh reality of drug usage.
Forty-seven-year-old James Lee Acord and 50-year-old Rhonda Pasek were found overdosed in the drug when an Ohio policeman Kevin Thompson stopped the SUV for erratic driving on Wednesday, Sept. 7. Acord, who was driving the car, was about to pass out and Pasek, who was in the front passenger seat was already unconscious and turning blue.
Thompson removed the keys from the Ford Explorer when Acord tried to drive the vehicle again. The officer was shocked when he discovered a 4-year-old boy restrained in the back seat.
The patrolman called the ambulance immediately and the paramedics who arrived at the spot administered Narcan, the drug used to reverse opioid overdose, to the couple. The couple gained consciousness eventually and was taken to the hospital. The child, who was Pasek's grandson, was then left in the custody of the Columbian County Children's Services.
Acord was charged for endangering children and driving under the influence of drugs and sentenced to 180 days in prison. Pasek, who was ordered to appear in the court on Sept. 15, was charged for not wearing seatbelt, endangering children and public intoxication.
Meanwhile, it was noted in the city's Facebook post that the photos could appear offensive to some people, but it is the order of the day.
"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," read the city's post.
It is important to help children who are caught in these kinds of problems. Children cannot defend themselves, but this post could convince people of the kind to think twice before taking drugs, more importantly when there are children in their custody.
Brian Allen, the city's director of public service and safety, said that the photos were obtained from a local TV on public records request. After careful discussion with the city's legal council, the mayor's office and Allen's office, the photos were posted on the city's Facebook page deliberately without blurring the child's face.
Allen also noted that the opioid problem in the city is overwhelming and there is no place to send all the addicted victims. Though they are arrested, they get into the same mess once they are back, he added.