- The Washington Times - Friday, September 9, 2016

The City of East Liverpool, Ohio, shared two graphic images on Facebook Thursday showing a man and woman overdosing on heroin with a 4-year-old boy in the back of their car.

“We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug,” the city wrote. “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 post said the decision to release the photos was made by the city administration and the East Liverpool Police Department after consulting with the city’s law director.

Rhonda Pasek, 50, and James Acord, 47, were charged with endangering children after they became unconscious during a traffic stop by East Liverpool police Officer Kevin Thompson, according to the police report. 

The boy in the car, identified as Ms. Pasek’s 4-year-old son, was taken into custody by Columbiana County Children’s Services.

The photos posted Thursday afternoon have been shared more than 15,000 times. Some commenters were outraged that city officials did not censor the child’s face, while others praised the city for raising awareness on heroin addiction, BuzzFeed reported.

“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,” the city wrote. “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.”

Mr. Acord, the driver of the vehicle, was also charged with operating a vehicle under the influence and stopping in a roadway. Ms. Pasek is facing an additional charge of public intoxication, according to the police report.

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