An Ohio couple has been charged with child endangerment and drug possession following the heroin overdose of their 8-year-old son.
Charles Dowdy and Danielle Simko were arrested on Jan. 11 after their son was rushed to the Southwest General Medical Center, where tests revealed that he had heroin in his system, the Daily Mail reports. Hospital staff also found prescription pills and a bag of heroin inside his sock, notes Cleveland.com.
Dowdy said he had been in bed with Simko and their son in their Berea, Ohio home when they noticed that their son was unconscious and his lips were turning blue, according to a police. "I think he was sleeping and I think what happened was he rolled over and I don’t think he could breathe," said Dowdy to the 911 dispatcher. "I think he was just, like, in the pillow and he suffocated."
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Dowdy admitted that he and Simko had been taking drugs earlier that same day, and a search of the couple's home found narcotics and syringes.
Cuyahoga County, where the couple live, has been ravaged by the nation's opioid epidemic, reports Cleveland.com.
During the first five days of February, 24 people died from overdosing on heroin or fentanyl -- the latter defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as "similar to morphine but 50 to 100 times more potent."
At least 46 deaths were attributed to heroin or fentanyl in January, and the drugs claimed at least 517 lives in 2016, according to the Cuyahoga County medical examiner. The 32 men and 14 women who died in January ranged in age from 23 to 67.
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As for Dowdy and Simko, they are being held on $150,000 bond and are scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 22. Their son survived his brush with death, and is now in the custody of relatives.