(WTOL) - It's no secret that heroin addiction is a major problem plaguing our area, and now law enforcement is seeing a growing trend of generational heroin use.
A mother called 911 after she found her 16-year-old son lifeless in a hotel room outside of Akron; he died from a heroin overdose.
"He's so cold, he's so stiff I don't know what he did," Mother's 911 call.
But there's a twist; police discovered the boy's mother supplied the drug and had also been using with him.
It's a problem that hits close to home here in Toledo. Lt. Joe Heffernan says he's seen many cases like this in our area. Generational heroin use, with parents and kids using together.
"Couple of weeks ago we had a father and son both overdose together, the mother called 911, we were able to save one of them," said Heffernan.
Jeff Howell is a clinical manager at Harbor Behavioral Connections in Perrysburg. He says this problem happens more often than you might think.
"It's not uncommon at all for individuals as part of a multicultural family unit to have used together," said Howell.
He says Harbor has helped at least five parent and child pairs in the last year who have sought heroin addiction treatment.
According to the parent/ child drug use typical happens when the child is a teenager or young adult, and the parent typically is no longer the primary caregiver.
"Many times the parent would not have custody of the child," said Howell.
But the drug use can start when the child visits the addicted parent. So what's the key to breaking the cycle? Lt. Heffernan says it's all about early intervention.
"If we can be made aware of those instances and intervene either through us or children services that child won't have to go down that dark road of addiction," said Heffernan.
A parent found guilty of buying heroin for their child could face up to life in prison.
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