A woman is facing multiple charges after admitting to using heroin before taking her young children to a Chuck E. Cheese, where she allegedly overdosed.
Michelle Wagner, 34, is accused of overdosing in front of her two children Tuesday after using heroin earlier in the day. Wagner admitted to police after her arrest that she snorted the substance before suffering the overdose at a Chuck E. Cheese in Colerain Township, Ohio, according to court papers. Wagner is facing two charges of child endangerment, reports WKRC.
The mother is being held on $5,000 bond. It is unclear who is currently caring for the two children, ages 7 and 5.
Ohio is being hit particularly hard by the national opioid epidemic, which claimed a record 33,000 lives in the U.S. in 2015. The opioid death rate in the state spiked 13 percent between 2014 and 2015, among the largest increases in the country. Heroin deaths increased by nearly 20 percent over the same period, claiming 1,444 lives.
The epidemic is posing risks to kids who are being exposed to the drugs and other dangers by their parents. A 9-year-old girl escaped from a near-fatal situation in March after her parents overdosed on heroin while driving their car through Cincinnati, Ohio.
The family was riding in a Jeep when the girl, sitting in the backseat, noticed her father passed out in the passenger seat of the car and her mother slipping in and out of consciousness while operating the vehicle. The girl managed to help her mother pull the car over and put the vehicle in park, before frantically calling for help. A police dispatcher spoke to the girl as authorities worked to find their location.
Officials in Ohio say that opioids are the main driver of a 19 percent spike in the number of kids removed from parental custody for foster care since 2010.
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