EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (KDKA) — Police in one Ohio town are hoping that the shocking reality of drug abuse will help to fight the heroin epidemic.
The graphic photos of two adults, passed out in their car because of suspected heroin overdoses, have received in excess of two million views on East Liverpool’s Facebook page.
In the same vehicle, in the backseat, there’s a 4-year-old boy.
The graphic images tell a frightening story. Police say an officer watched a Ford Explorer weave erratically and stop.
Officers found an impaired James Acord in the driver’s seat. He said he was taking his unconscious passenger, Rhonda Pasek, to the hospital, and then became unresponsive himself. Narcan was administered and both regained consciousness.
The 4-year-old in the backseat was the son of one of the adults.
The Facebook post reads, in part: “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.”
East Liverpool Public Safety Director Brian Allen told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “Sometimes, the truth is graphic. These pictures are the truth.”
Allen said officials thought long and hard before posting the graphic photos.
On their Facebook page, police continued, “We are well aware that some may be offended by these images, and for that we are truly sorry, but it is time the non-drug using public sees what we are dealing with on a daily basis. We are well aware some may be offended by these images, and for that we are sorry.”
Allen said the city and police have received some negative feedback from the photo posts, even a few death threats aimed at him and the mayor of East Liverpool.
Acord and Pasek face child endangerment and other charges. The child has been placed in foster care.