Parents Overdosing On Heroin Saved After 11-Year-Old Calls 911


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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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A couple who fell unconscious after overdosing on heroin were revived after an 11-year-old living in the home called first responders for aid.

The incident occurred Saturday in Penn Township, Pa., a part of the state being particularly hard hit by the national opioid epidemic. Officials with the Northern Lancaster County Regional Police said 29-year-old Ashley Danielle Rice and 30-year-old James Calvin Roberts were using heroin at their home on Fruitville Pike in the presence of a child when they suffered an overdose, reported Lancaster Online.

Officers said they responded when “an 11-year-old that was residing in the residence” called 911.

Rice and Roberts were taken to a local hospital for treatment before being moved to Lancaster County Prison on $50,000 bail. A subsequent search of their residence turned up several uncapped hypodermic needles, open bags of what police believe to be heroin, and drug paraphernalia.

The pair face charges of endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person. The unidentified 11-year-old was placed in the custody of relatives living in the area.

Pennsylvania is being battered by drug overdoses, which claimed 4,884 lives in 2016. The increase was primarily driven by opioids, which were implicated in more than 3,900 overdose deaths across the state in 2016. Officials in Pennsylvania predict drug overdose deaths will top 5,000 when final figures for 2017 are released.

Children are increasingly the victims of the opioid crisis, often getting caught in the middle of drug deals and overdoses. A mother in Indiana faces charges of child neglect after shooting up and overdosing on heroin while inside her truck with her five-year-old daughter on April 9.

Police arrested a mother and father in Indiana on March 9 after the parents suffered heroin overdoses in their SUV with their three children inside.

An unidentified driver, who told police the SUV was sitting in the middle of the roadway, discovered the family. First responders administered the overdose reversal drug Narcan to the couple before taking them to a local hospital for treatment.

“They will do almost anything to get that fix whether or not they place another person or a child in danger,” Carroll County, Ind., Sheriff Tobe Leazenby said, according to WGN 9.

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under age 50, killing more than 64,000 people in 2016.

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