Why police want you to see these photos of a couple overdosed with their little boy in the car.

WARNING: Graphic images.

A small-town police department in Ohio is making headlines for sharing confronting photos of a drug-addled couple passed out in their car with a stunned little boy in the backseat.

Posting the photos to their Facebook page, the City of East Liverpool police department wrote that although the knew the photos were both graphic and confronting, they believed it was important step in demonstrating just how widespread heroin use is across their town.

“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,” they began.

“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.”

The police department also acknowledged the inevitable: the images would offend, and they were prepared for that. Despite this, they wrote that offending some people is a small price to pay in the pursuit of combating such a tragic and pervasive epidemic.

“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.”


In an affidavit also released by the police department, a policeman who initially discovered the car said he noticed something was awry when he witnessed the car swerving off the road and “erratically weaving back in forth in the lane.”

Upon seeing the car “slowing in an angle and drifting” to a stop, Officer Kevin Thompson said that when he approached the driver, since identified as James Acord, his head was “bobbing back and forth” and his speech “almost unintelligible.”

Police said Acord then attempted to drive away before falling completely unconscious, while the woman in the car, Rhonda Pasek, was similarly unconscious and turning blue.

Acord's head was "bobbing back and forth" and his speech "almost unintelligible." Image via Facebook/City of East Liverpool, Ohio.

The decisive action has seen cheers of support and outrage alike from members of the community, with the comments-section of the post overflowing with debate about the fate of the couple and the future for the child.

More than anything though, a common thread littered through the comments-section is an outpouring of sympathy for the four-year-old pictured in the car.

"My heart breaks for the little boy but also for the parents. Drugs are more of a threat to our way of lives than we think. I pray for all children of addicted parents and those whom are addicted," one person wrote.

Another hoped someone would take the boy under their wing immediately.

"Hope the child gets out of that terrible situation and into a better one immediately," they said.

After being live for just over 24 hours, the post has since been liked by nearly 9000 people and shared by over 23,000.