DEAD BEAT DAD AND MUM

Wasted: Horrifying photos of parents passed out by
school bus after overdosing in their car with four-year-old boy in the
backseat reveal the terrible toll of the opioid epidemic sweeping
America 

  • Rhonda Pasek and James Acord were pulled over in East Liverpool, Ohio
  • Pasek’s four-year-old son can be seen in backseat of Ford Explorer 
  • Officer pulled over Acord after he was seen driving erratically Thursday 
  • Acord allegedly tried to drive away, but the officer took his car keys away
  • Pasek’s son was released into custody of children’s services 
  • The pair of them have both subsequently been charged 
  • Acord, 47, has a history of arrests in West Virginia, including on DUI charges
  • Pasek, 50, was arrested for drug possession in 2011  
A
police department in Ohio has shared on Facebook disturbing photos of a
man and woman passed out in a car with a toddler in the backseat after
the pair had allegedly overdosed on heroin.
The unsettling images appeared on the City of East Liverpool’s social media page on Thursday. 
Officials
say they decided to make the photos public to raise awareness of the
heroin epidemic in the state, and also to try and deter people from
using drugs while having children in their care.
Addiction
to opioids such as heroin, morphine, fentanyl and codeine in the US has
reached the proportions of a full-blown epidemic in recent years.
In
Ohio, which has been among the states hardest hit by the overdose
epidemic, there were 3,000 unintentional drug overdoses last year, at an
average of eight per 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,’ it says in the caption
accompanying the photos.
Scroll down for video 
Shamed: Police in East Liverpool, Ohio, shared on Facebook this shocking image showing Rhonda Pasek and James Acord passed out in their car with the woman's child in the backseat after a suspected heroin overdose 

Shamed: Police in East Liverpool,
Ohio, shared on Facebook this shocking image showing Rhonda Pasek and
James Acord passed out in their car with the woman’s child in the
backseat after a suspected heroin overdose 
Officials say they decided to make the photos of the unconscious man and woman public to raise awareness of the heroin epidemic in the state 

Officials say they decided to make the
photos of the unconscious man and woman public to raise awareness of
the heroin epidemic in the state 

‘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.’
An
East Liverpool police officer was driving along St Clair Avenue at
around 3.11pm Thursday when he spotted a dark Ford Explorer with West
Virginia plates that was driving erratically before screeching to a stop
near a school bus that was dropping off children, according to an
arrest report that was also shared on Facebook.
When
the officer approached the vehicle, he noticed that the driver,
identified as 47-year-old James Acord, appeared intoxicated, with his
head bobbing back and forth and his speech almost unintelligible.
Acord
told the officer that he was driving 50-year-old Rhonda Pasek to a
hospital. The woman was slumped over in the front passenger seat.
According
to police, Acord then made an attempt to drive away, but at that moment
the officer reached into the car and pulled the keys out of the
ignition.
James Acord, 47, was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, endangering children
Pasek was charged with endangering children, public intoxication and not wearing a seatbelt
Couple
arrested: James Acord, 47 (left), was charged with operating a vehicle
while intoxicated, endangering children. Rhonda Pasek, 50 (right), was
charged with endangering children, public intoxication and not wearing a
seatbelt

OPIOID OVERDOSES IN US REACH EPIDEMIC LEVELS FORCING FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERMENTS TO TAKE ACTION 

Addiction
to opioids such as heroin, morphine, fentanyl and codeine in the US has
reached the proportions of a full-blown epidemic in recent years, with
states like Ohio reporting a dramatic spike in drug-related deaths. 
Prescription
opioid painkillers can have effects similar to heroin, and research
suggests that abuse of these drugs may open the door to heroin
addiction.
For
decades, heroin was considered the drug of choice of low-income youths
living in inner-city neighborhoods because it was readily available and
cheap. Now, it is affecting suburban middle-class white adults.
A
study published in JAMA Psychiatry in 2014 found that the dramatic
shift in demographics is likely linked to the increasing availability of
and demand for prescription opioids.
Nearly
half of young people who inject heroin surveyed in three other recent
studies reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use
heroin. Some individuals reported taking up heroin because it is cheaper
and easier to obtain than prescription opioids.
A
record 47,055 people died from drug overdoses in the US in 2014,
according to the latest figures from the US Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention. The number was up 7 per cent from 2013, spurred by large
increases in heroin and opioid painkiller deaths. 
In
Ohio, which has been among the states hardest hit by the overdose
epidemic, there were 3,000 unintentional drug overdoses last year, at an
average of eight per day, according to information from the American
Society of Addiction Medicine.
Over
one-third of those accidental deaths were caused by the powerful opioid
fentanyl, which more than doubled from the previous year and increased
from just 75 in 2012.
Ohio
Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor this week called on the state House of
Representatives to pass a package of reforms aimed at curbing the opioid
abuse, which passed in the state Senate.
One
provision increases access to the drug naloxone, known by the brand
name Narcan, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose within
minutes.
Paramedics
working in the state last year administered nearly 19,800 doses of
naloxone, which can be sold by pharmacists without a prescription under
changes made in 2015. 
Last
month, the Obama administration announced that it will spend $17million
to help law enforcement agencies deal with the increase in heroin and
opioid abuse.
The
administration said the spending will support an array of projects to
disrupt drug trafficking, increase the use of the drug naloxone to
reverse overdoses and train medical providers on safe prescribing
practices.
Congress
has approved legislation aimed at curbing heroin and opioid drugs.
Obama signed the bill into law in July, but the president said he was
deeply disappointed about funding levels.  
That is when the officer noticed Pasek’s 4-year-old in the backseat.
Paramedics
who were summoned to the scene administered Narcan – a drug used to
counteract the effects of a heroin overdose – to Pasek and Acord, who by
that point had passed out as well. The couple were then taken to East
Liverpool City Hospital to be evaluated.
Acord was later charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, endangering children, and slowing or stopping in a road. 
He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 180 days in jail for each of the first two charges, according to The Weirton Daily Times. The last count of impeding traffic was dropped.
Jailed: Pasek, pictured in this Facebook photo from 2012, has pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $150,000 bond

Jailed: Pasek, pictured in this Facebook photo from 2012, has pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $150,000 bond
Acord’s punishment also includes a three-year license suspension and a $475 fine, reported the station WTOV.  
Pasek
was charged with endangering children, public intoxication and not
wearing a seatbelt. She pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on
$150,000 bond pending her next court appearance scheduled for September
15. 
Her young son has been placed in the custody of Columbiana County Children’s Services.
The
City of Weirton, West Virginia, also shared the images of the couple on
its Facebook page and revealed additional information about their
background. 
According
to the post, Acord has a history with substance abuse and run-ins with
the law in West Virginia. His history includes multiple arrests on DUI
charges, most recently in March of this year. 
Public
records indicate that Acord’s laundry-list rap sheet includes a slew of
arrests dating back to at least 1990 in Florida, Pennsylvania,
Tennessee, West Virginia and Ohio on charges ranging from drinking in
public to robbery.    
Pasek
also has a history of arrests and substance abuse, including a drug
possession charge in 2011. Court records in Pennsylvania include past
charges of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. 

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