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How Much Concern Should We Have For Heroin Addicts?

September 10, 2016

This story below is perhaps the most upsetting one yet to be reported about heroin addiction.  To be honest, I am just tired of hearing about the stupid and weak who fall prey to this horrible drug.  What is wrong with people that they get sucked up into such madness?  Worse yet is when the actions of addicts inflict harm or possible harm to innocent people.

We live in a nation with umpteen ways to be informed and guided about appropriate ways to live, and what to steer clear of so not to damage ourselves.  There are endless ways to safely relax and take off pressure.  There is not one single reason for anyone to expect that drugs will treat them any differently than all the tragic stories we all are privy to.

So yes it is the stupid and weak who are the ones who make the headlines when it comes to heroin addiction and it seems the rest of us in society have to pick up the pieces of their broken lives.   The cost to society is rising by the week.

Simply put the two adults pictured in the story below–James Lee Acord and Rhonda L. Pasek– should not be allowed to have guardianship of the 4-year-old boy in this story.   His life should be more a priority for society than the two losers posing as adults who had him in their care.  Their lack of concern for this child is simply stunning to see.

I am one of the first in line to promote caring social programs to assist those in need.  Be they homeless kids in our city schools, helping elderly people stay in their homes, pushing for better health care, or any one of many other needs I want to help others with a hand up.

But when it comes to those who willingly allow their lives to drift to drugs is where my compassion ends.  I am not heartless or cold.  But frankly the choice to start injecting heroin is also the time that idea can be  rejected.

When it comes to social needs  I am pragmatic about where the limited resources we have are best spent.  When people have allowed their lives to become so out of control that this below is the outcome then as a citizen and taxpayer I feel the right to say enough.

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On Wednesday afternoon, a police officer in East Liverpool, Ohio, stopped a vehicle for driving erratically and made a shocking discovery: The driver was barely conscious. A woman was slumped across the passenger seat next to him, turning blue.

In the back of the vehicle, a 4-year-old boy sat restrained in a car seat, according to a police report.

The officer called an ambulance, and when the EMTs arrived, they administered the lifesaving drug Narcan, used to reverse opioid overdoses. After 47-year-old James Lee Acord and 50-year-old Rhonda L. Pasek were revived, police arrested them and contacted Columbiana County Children’s Services.

Acord pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 180 days in jail on charges of driving under the influence and endangering children, according to a local news report. Pasek pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct, endangering children and a seat-belt violation.

 

8 Comments leave one →
  1. pattilynn9 permalink
    September 11, 2016 6:59 AM

    I mentioned in the first paragraph of my first post…the miracle of the boys survival and my hope he will end up apart from his mother. I did then veer off into the drug aspect of the story. The pictures of the adults are so shocking they are hard to ignore.

    Altho I stopped there writing re: the boy, please know I had a long conversation with myself about him. The picture of his face, not blurred out, was striking. I was drawn into his eyes. I thought there is no telling the awful things those eyes have witnessed. And will he be able to have a normal life going forward or he been irreparably damaged?

    I wondered who / why the decision was made to leave his face unblurred. Would my reaction to his plight have been as strong if he was shown as a faceless body in the backseat? Honestly, probably not. Like I said his eyes told his story, to me.

    I also had a concern that someday he will read the article and see the pictures. Would they tell him something he doesn’t already know? I think he knows only too well the conditions he’s lived in. Would he be embarrassed or shamed for ppl to know he was that boy? I hope not, but be won’t always look like a 4 yr old boy. As he ages he’ll be less recognizable as the child he is now. I ached for him and said a little prayer that he will end up with a decent loving family who will give him a good life.

    It’s an upsetting story. I hadn’t read it elsewhere. Thx for posting it.

  2. September 10, 2016 10:06 PM

    As a side not I am really interested that on my blog here the comments all deal with the drug aspect while the same words and pics on the CP FB page all deal with the photo of the boy and if that was proper or what should be done with him regarding parents. Just really interesting to see this play out with how folks react. On my personal FB page where is also posted with the same words and pics there is also mostly a drug related back and forth and no mention of the ‘ethics’ of the photo of the boy. I might try to find more of a national discussion of this aspect to this story and post separately at a later time. (And thanks to all those who have commented.)

  3. Dan permalink
    September 10, 2016 5:47 PM

    It is evident the writer does not know much about addiction….I do have a family member who has been fighting it for over 20 years. Addicts will use anything to cope…pot, alcohol, opiates, speed, Jesus, obssesive habits…anything to cope with life. They can stop but if they don’t learn how to cope, they will use anything that works. It takes pro help, work, luck and will…many people can’t find the right combination.

  4. pattilynn9 permalink
    September 10, 2016 4:51 PM

    pkarm61 – Yes, my family has/had several members who were addicts. As a child my first awareness of addiction was of my great grandmother who dipped snuff. She was quite elderly, sat in a rocking chair all day, dipped and rocked and spit…often missing her spit cup. The front of her clothing was disgusting and the odor of her person was strong. I knew I never wanted to take up that habit!

    I had an uncle who came back from WW2 an alcoholic. He served as a combat medic, he had “battle fatigue” or what we now recognize as PTSD. In his era, there was little understanding that he needed treatment. He had a wife and 2 children, none of which drank. His addiction was a financial drain on his family, as he couldn’t hold a job for any length of time and developed sticky fingers to obtain funds to buy beer. His children were embarrassed by his behavior their whole lives. I knew I never wanted to take up that habit!

    Both my Mother and Father smoked cigarettes. They started as young ppl before the warnings came into effect. Smoking was very glamorous then, in the movies, magazines, etc, and cigarettes were cheap. They were smokers when I was born. I remember when our family would take a road trip. My brother and I in the back seat, windows rolled up. Eyes watering, we would beg our parents to put their cigarettes out. The response? Close your eyes. {Thru the years, my brother and I often reminded them of those times. They both stated they thought we were “putting on”. As adults we insisted we were not…and they both apologized and felt really bad.}

    Both of them begged my brother and I to never START smoking as it was very hard to quit. They tried numerous times to quit. My Dad was finally successful by just laying them down one day and never picked them up again. Tuff to do, but he did it. My Mother tried various ways to quit and was finally successful by undergoing hypnosis. They wasted a ton of money on a filthy habit that impacted their health. Years later, my Dad died of a heart attack. My Mother had a heart attack and open heart surgery. She recovered from that only to die a few years later of lung cancer. By their bad example, I knew I never wanted to take up that habit!

    [My Husband just chimed in. His father smoked for years, finally quit, but later died of a stroke. My Husband never smoked.]

    I saw living examples of addiction in my family. I never drank alcohol or smoked because I didn’t want to turn my brain over to substances that would change it. I needed ALL my little gray cells in good working order. Remember the commercial of the egg frying? “This is your brain on crack?” That hit home with me.

    Alcohol and tobacco are commonly accepted/tolerated. Heroin is not. So, I still can not understand what would bring a person to START – the first time doing heroin!?!

  5. September 10, 2016 12:46 PM

    Perhaps the other question is have we known people who had every reason to fall through the cracks and allow despair of one type or another to take control, and instead of that found the inner means to move ahead in life without drugs?

    I take your point, pkarm, with your question and am not trying to be dismissive of it. I really am not trying to be snarky here with my response.

    To answer you I have not had family members with this issue. I can also say I never have friends with this issue. It may sound quaint but I recall even when I was in my 30’s Mom would ask if this or that friend I would talk about smoked. (None of my friends smoke.) But it was her asking even when I was very much an adult that is the point I want to make.

    I do think there is something about the foundations we are given growing up that is so mightily important. It is surely not a foolproof way of making sure we have solid people in our society but I think parents have too often stepped back from their responsibilities by stressing what is required to make a solid individual. We are somewhat the same age I suspect and you probably had a family much like mine and know where I am coming from.

    You might counter with I have no kids, so what do I know? You might be partly correct expect that going through decades of life with all sorts of experiences has allowed me to gauge the pros and cons of what I have learned. I had a job setting up mentors with male teenagers who were on their last leg before the next place for them was jail. Some of the guys needed to be kicked in the back side and others needed a hug. Most were involved with a drug of some kind. All made a choice to start usage.

    Too many young people have too little sense of how to deal with tough times in a healthy emotional way. (This is not a new problem for sure but one that continues and I see play out often.) I feel that inter-relationships for them are harder to connect with in a time when hand-held conversations are more common than not. The list can go on and on.

  6. pkarm61 permalink
    September 10, 2016 11:55 AM

    Have either of you had to ever deal with a family member with an addiction?

  7. September 10, 2016 10:48 AM

    Agree, Patti.

    I stress again with all the info that is available with all the many means to receive it how do people not know the pitfalls of heroin? I agree with your summation of it being sad and infuriating.

  8. pattilynn9 permalink
    September 10, 2016 8:40 AM

    It’s a miracle he didn’t plow into the school bus and kill a lot of kids…along with the boy in his back seat. Horrifying! At first, I thought the story was about ppl living in their car…and they were sleeping. Then I saw her face and thought she was dead. Then I read the article and was stunned to read he was driving in that condition. He needs to be locked up and she needs to lose custody of her child!

    I don’t understand how / why ppl ever start using heroin?!? Don’t they understand what addiction is? …… What are ppl thinking to inject a deadly drug into their veins…it’s just unbelievable to me that a person would ever do that willingly. Altho I know they do.

    See, I’ve been thinking…Rehab is such a nice sounding word. Many celebrities speak casually about being in rehab / how many times they’ve been to rehab, etc. Altho I’m all for ppl kicking their drug habits. I think young ppl need to learn about DRUG ADDICTS and ADDICTION. Celebs in Rehab are every bit as much of a drug addict as street ppl, but young ppl only see glamorous wealthy stars who they look up to. They think if a STAR can kick the heroin, so can they (if needed). Unrealistic thinking. Oh, I’m not blaming only celebs…many in our society dabble in “recreational” drugs, giving a subtle okay to drug usage.

    And what kind of ppl live among us who take up selling drugs? Not only poor ppl, altho they are usually the ones who get caught. Not only gangs. Too many middle class and wealthy ppl are willing to get rich off their fellow citizens misery. American money spent on drugs is also flowing out of our country to countries who are only too happy to see Americans become a detriment to our nations strength.

    It’s all sad and infuriating.

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