A heartbreaking photo of two adults passed out in the front seat of a car with a young child in the back seat has gone viral. The adults overdosed on opioids. This is a sad and all too common story with the use of opioids on the rise. Watch below…
Located in a red brick building on Jackson Street, the city of East Liverpool’s latest addition couldn’t be more urgently needed. The clinic, housed inside the Family Recovery Center, will soon dispense medication that can help people recover from opioid addiction, saving them a 45 minute drive to the next-nearest clinic.
This kind of resource is critical in East Liverpool, which drew nationwide attention when the police department decided to share on social media a picture of a couple overdosed and passed out in a car with a young boy in the backseat. Publishing the photo, say local law enforcement, was the city’s cry for help.
Overdoses from heroin and opiate abuse are common in this Ohio city of 11,000, as they are in other cities like it throughout the state. In 2014, Ohio earned the dubious distinction of leading the country in opioid overdose deaths; its more than 2100 deaths account for over 7% of the national total that year. The bulk of those deaths were traced to opiates or heroin, and law enforcement and emergency room doctors are frustrated with the growing problem. “When I started here in 2011, I don’t recall having any heroin or opiate overdoses at that time,” says Dr. Charles Payne, medical director of the emergency room at East Liverpool City Hospital. “There was a case here and there. Then it was once a week, then all of a sudden today I literally don’t work a shift without having at least one overdose.”
Many people who OD don’t even know what they took. Fentanyl, a synthetic analgesic that is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine, its more dangerous cousin carfentanil, which is up to 10,000 time more potent than morphine, as well as heroin and prescription painkillers like opiates are all common causes of overdose. The emergency room staff here is so accustomed to having people leave passed out addicts in their parking lot that they have a special alarm set up to alert doctors and nurses of a new case, and a dedicated gurney by the door for bringing the overdosed people in.