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Police release harrowing images to show the effects of heroin

Police said they hoped the images would make others think twice Credit: City of East Liverpool police

A US police department has released harrowing photographs showing a pair of addicts who risked their child's life in a bid to illustrate the devastating effects of heroin.

The force posted images on Facebook showing a couple who had passed out in their car while their four-year-old son sat in a child's seat in the back.

The man had become unconscious at the wheel shortly after he was stopped for driving erratically in the city of East Liverpool, Ohio.

The child was seen looking forlornly out of the car's window Credit: City of East Liverpool police

Police admitted its decision to post the images was controversial but officers "feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug".

This child can't speak for himself but we are hopeful his story can convince another user to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody.

We are well aware that some may be offended by these images and for that we are truly sorry, but it is time that the non drug-using public sees what we are now dealing with on a daily basis.

– City of East Liverpool police

The officer who responded to the incident said man's head was "bobbing back and forth, his speech was almost unintelligible", while the woman in the passenger's seat was "turning blue".

Both the driver and passenger were later arrested after receiving hospital treatment.

The young boy was taken to social services.