Any drug counselor will tell addicts that their addiction affects everyone around them. Teen addiction hurts parents and siblings. Adult addiction hurts spouses and friends. The addiction takes up time, money, and energy — leaving little for others.
But as the police in East Liverpool, Ohio, pointed out, when adults become addicts, it’s the children who suffer the most. After a traffic stop on Wednesday, police were so shocked by the scene that they posted the disturbing photos on their Facebook page:
Warning Graphic Content!The city Police department recently responded to a call of an incapacitated driver, attached…
Their full post reads:
“Warning Graphic Content!
The city Police department recently responded to a call of an incapacitated driver, attached are photos from the scene along with the actual police report. The city administration works hand in hand with our men in blue to combat this epidemic and together with the law director we have made the decision to release the attached.
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.
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 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.”
The police report included details of a traffic stop during which an officer — driving his personal vehicle — came upon another vehicle that was driving erratically. He watched as the SUV weaved and then narrowly avoided hitting children as they got off a school bus.
The vehicle then remained stopped — still in the road — and police discovered two incapacitated adults inside. The male driver slipped into unconsciousness after police arrived, and the female passenger was already turning blue. A paper with traces of pink powder on it was found in the car.
But it was the four-year-old son of the passenger, sitting quietly in the back seat, that truly impacted the officers on the scene:
“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 incident from East Liverpool, Ohio, came just a week after the viral photo of Alabama police officer Michelle Burns comforting the youngest of four left alone in an apartment when both of their parents overdosed together:
A picture's worth a thousand words: Birmingham cop comforts tots after parents OD https://t.co/Otz5fR9nHZ
— carol robinson (@RobinsonCarol) August 31, 2016
And while one or two asked that the photo of the Ohio crime scene not be shared:
I'd rather y'all not RT that pic of the OD'ed parents with the kid
— Ⓥincent Ⓥalentine (@BigBabyJRAM) September 9, 2016
Many agreed with the police — this was something that needed to be seen:
The police officers of East Liverpool, Ohio, concluded by saying that they would fight the battle to the end, and “if that means we offend a few people along the way, we are prepared to deal with that.”