There’s a heroin epidemic raging in America’s heartland, particularly in Ohio, where it’s estimated 23 people die each week from the drug. The city of East Liverpool, just over the Pennsylvania border, has decided to take the fight to social media. Last night they posted photos on the town Facebook page of a couple that had passed out in their SUV after overdosing on heroin with the woman’s 4-year old toddler in the back seat.
Police were notified of a car driving erratically Wednesday afternoon after it almost hit a school bus. When officers arrived on the scene they found 47-year-old James Acord mumbling incoherently behind the driver’s seat. Passed out next to him, riding shotgun, was Rhonda Pasek, 50. Acord said he was driving Pasek to the hospital before trying to flee the scene. Cops removed the keys from the ignition and waited for an ambulance as the couple slipped in and out of consciousness. All the while Pasek’s 4-year-old son looked on from the back seat.
The town is unapologetic about posting the shocking pictures. “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,” it says on the Facebook post, adding, “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.”
After being treated for their overdose, Acord was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, endangering children and slowing or stopping in a road, while Pasek was charged with endangering children, public intoxication and not wearing a seatbelt. Both plead guilty with Acord being sentenced to 180 days in jail. Paskek’s child is currently in the care of local child protective services.