Police arrested a mother and father in Indiana Friday after the parents suffered heroin overdoses in their SUV with their three children inside.
The parents, 31-year-old Adam Smith and 29-year-old Donnis Smith, were found unresponsive in their car. An unidentified driver, who told police the SUV was sitting in the middle of the roadway, discovered the family. First responders administered overdose reversal drug Narcan to the couple before taking them to a local hospital for treatment, WGN 9 reported.
Authorities are holding both parents on $5,000 bonds at the Carroll County Jail. The pair face preliminary charges of felony neglect of a dependent child, but officials say additional charges are likely.
“They will do almost anything to get that fix whether or not they place another person or a child in danger,” Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby said, according to WGN 9.
The couple’s three young children are currently in the custody of the Indiana Department of Child Services.
The children are suffering the results of rampant opioid abuse throughout the country as the crisis continues to deteriorate. Indiana experienced one of the largest one-year increases of children entering the foster system in 2016.
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The situation is rapidly deteriorating and needs urgent reform to better protect children’s rights, Indiana Department of Child Services warn. The number of kids in Indiana foster care increased from 24,935 in 2015 to 29,315 in 2016, with the national opioid epidemic being the primary conduit.
Social services are struggling to keep up with the increases, and officials say outdated policy is causing added suffering among the children. Workers are required by federal law to make “reasonable efforts” to reunify foster care children with their parents.
Relapses often put the children back into a dangerous environment when it comes to drug abuse, which accounted for 34 percent of all national foster cases in 2016, officials say.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials said in 2016 roughly 437,500 kids were in foster care and note that number will likely increase due to rising drug abuse rates in 2017.
Roughly 92,000 children entered foster care due to parental drug use in the U.S. in 2016, according to Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services data.
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