Less than one week after a photo of a heroin overdose in an SUV went viral, the 4-year-old boy who was the center of attention in the shocking pic just received some great news.
Columbiana County Court Administrator Dane Walton told NBC News that the child in the photo is living in a new home. He is staying with his great-aunt and uncle, Lori and Terry Lane of Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The boy had been living with his grandmother, 50-year-old Rhonda Pasek, who is now awaiting trial on charges of endangering a child and public intoxication. Pasek had custody of her grandson for just six weeks before police in East Liverpool, Ohio arrested her and friend James Lee Acord last week. An off-duty police officer pulled the vehicle over after Acord has reportedly been driving recklessly.
East Liverpool police posted the controversial photo of the incident to their Facebook page to show the "non-drug using public" that "heroin has taken a strong grip on many communities."
City of East Liverpool, Ohio
"We feel we need to be a voice for the children caught up in this horrible mess," East Liverpool police wrote on Facebook. "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 Facebook post received over 28,000 shares.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends better collaboration between child protective services and substance use disorder treatment agencies to better protect children in families affected by addiction.
If we work to further streamline these services, more children living with adults combatting serious substance use disorders may finally get much-needed help.
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