US & Canada

Ohio police post graphic overdosing heroin parents photo

City of East Liverpool Image copyright City of East Liverpool
Image caption Rhonda Pasek (L) and James Acord slumped in the vehicle

Ohio police have released a graphic photo of a couple overdosing on heroin with a boy in the car.

Rhonda Pasek, 50, and James Acord, 47, were charged with endangering children after they became unconscious during a traffic stop in East Liverpool.

The boy, Pasek's four-year-old son, was taken into custody by county children's services.

Authorities released the image to raise awareness of the Midwestern US state's heroin epidemic.

Officials wrote on Facebook: "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."

The couple were detained on Wednesday afternoon after a policeman spotted their Ford Explorer being driven erratically.

Officer Kevin Thompson followed the vehicle as it weaved along the road before it braked suddenly behind a school bus that was dropping off children.

He said he found Acord with "pin point pupils", his "head bobbing back and forth his speech was almost unintelligible".


More on Ohio's heroin problem

Smack in the suburbs

Media captionMason Butler talks about starting detox for the seventh time
Media captionJim Larkin from the Lorain County Drug Task Force

Paramedics were called to administer anti-overdose medication Narcan after the couple fell unconscious.

They were taken to hospital and appeared in court a day later.

Acord was sentenced to 180 days in jail after pleading no contest to charges of driving under the influence and endangering children, reports the Weirton Daily Times.

Pasek pleaded not guilty to charges of endangering children and disorderly conduct.

The city said: "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."

Related Topics