Opiate Epidemic: The youngest collateral damage

Kids: The victims of heroin

Last week East Liverpool, Ohio gave a real and raw look at the opiate epidemic when they posted a picture of a couple passed out from opiate overdose while a four-year-old was strapped in the back of their car.  
 
The image shared nearly 30 thousand times on Facebook and had more than five thousand comments.  The story made both national and international news. 
 
Friday night four people overdosed in an Akron home and a three-year-old wandered away, thankfully found safe at the home of a nearby neighbor. 
 
While hundreds are dying from opiate overdose all over northeast Ohio the most innocent and helpless are the real collateral damage. 
 
Because of it, nearly ever child services organization is in desperate need of foster parent volunteers because of the children left behind.
 
Here's a snapshot by the numbers of the problem.
 
In Ashtabula and Summit Counties half of their child protective cases are due to parental substance abuse. Nearly half of those are opiate related. (25% Summit, 20% Ashtabula)
 
In Stark, Medina, Lake and Geauga counties, a third of their cases are substance related, but 17 percent are because of opiates in Stark and Lake counties, 77 percent in Geauga and 90 percent in Medina. 
 
As for the couple in East Liverpool, both were from West Virginia, the driver, James Acord will spend the next year in jail.  The mother of the four-year-old, Rhonda Pasek will be back in court this week.


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