An Ohio judge just lashed out on a father who overdosed in front of his child.
On March 18, Charles Dove, 45, and his wife Paula Smith, 41, fell unconscious while driving their car after taking heroin.
Smith, who was in the driver's seat, managed to pull over into a parking lot before losing consciousness. Their 9-year-old daughter — the only conscious person in the car — then called for help and had to go through the trauma of reporting that her parents had “died and they won’t wake up.” The little girl was unable to tell the operator of landmarks so emergency services could identify their location.
However, they somehow got to the scene and administered an overdose reversal drug Narcan.
On April 10, the drug addict father pleaded not guilty to a charge of child endangerment. He changed his plea to no contest before Judge Fanon Rucker, who asked him why he would take heroin while in charge of his daughter.
“I can't handle that my child is going to look at me in 10 years, in 15 years, in 20 years if I'm still around, and say, 'What happened to the father I was supposed to have?'” Rucker said.
Dove conveniently based his irresponsible actions on his drug addiction and asked he be sent to out-of-state rehabilitation program, stating that it would help him remain clean.
“A great program, the most effective program, doesn't mean anything if the person doesn't want to take advantage of it,” said the judge while refusing the request.
Dove was sentenced 12 months behind bars, where he will attend a prison-based rehabilitation program.
Furthermore, the father will also serve a three-to-four-month sentence on a probation violation in Kentucky.
The mother was charged with multiple offenses, including endangering children, operating a vehicle under the influence, refusal of a chemical test and possession of an open container. She is awaiting a hearing.
The opioid epidemic became America’s worst drug crisis ever, where overdoses now kill more people than gun homicides and car crashes combined. In 2015 drug overdose killed more people than HIV/AIDS at its 1995 peak.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters