Austin-area parents passed out behind the wheel on drugs
Round Rock Police have arrested two Austin-area parents who were found passed out in their car.
Police say they had cocaine and black-tar heroin in their possession. Their two babies were in the backseat.
The DEA reports that the availability and abuse of heroin is steadily on the rise in America, even calling it an epidemic. We spoke with a local treatment center about how users can overcome addiction.
We're seeing it more and more all over the country - parents on drugs placing their children at risk.
Kali Gossett works for a non-profit that offers inpatient substance abuse treatment, and says she has seen it all.
"We've seen people nearly dead walk in here, literally nearly dead. They haven't eaten in days. We get them to detox, we get them medically stable, we bring them in for treatment," says Kati Gossett, chief operating officer, A New Entry, Inc.
Just last week 26-year-old Cory Holloman and 23-year-old Amirah Silver were charged with abandoning or endangering a child and possession of a controlled substance. Police say both parents were passed out inside of their car at a Target parking lot in Round Rock. The car was left running and the driver was found with his tongue sticking out of his mouth, along with injection marks.
Their 1-month-old and 1-year-old were in the backseat.
"It causes a lot of stress and fear because they don't know who going to walk in the door that day. 'Is my parent going to be the parent I love, who is there and is happy to see me? Or is my parent going to show up and be intoxicated, or not acting right, or angry?'" says Gossett.
Officers were able to wake both parents. At that time, they were given permission to perform a pat down and search the vehicle. Cocaine, heroin, marijuana and prescription pills were found.
"You know a lot of times people are mixing things and when you mix uppers and downers, your heart doesn't know what to do," says Gossett.
In September photos were released out of Ohio, showing a man and woman unconscious from the effects of an opioid overdose in the front seat of a car. Their little boy remained strapped in his car-seat.
Two weeks later -- more heartbreaking images as a mother was captured on camera overdosing on the floor of a Massachusetts store. Her daughter can be heard screaming, tugging at her limp body.
"It's really sad, you know, to see people in that place. What we've seen through treatment, is each day their eyes open a little bit wider. That hope, that little piece of hope that we give them every day, through them showing up to class and meeting up with their counselor, that hope continues to build and build and build and build," says Gossett.
To the point where they believe they can do it.
Signs of an overdose include unconsciousness, choking or slow breathing.