PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Images posted on social media of an Ohio couple who overdosed on heroin have sparked an online debate about Facebook shaming.
People are still liking, sharing, and commenting on the viral post.
There is praise for the Ohio police department that decided to release the images of two adults slumped over in a car, with a small child in the back seat. But some express concern about the public shaming of drug addicts.
“Addiction can get people to behave and do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do, that’s not to excuse their behavior by any stretch of the imagination,” says Scott Weisenberger, CEO of Malvern Institute.
“I think it was very effective because it pushes addiction and hopefully recovery to a least an internet and Facebook discussion.”
The post has been shared more than 28,000 times, over 5,000 comments and received over 12,000 likes.
“I do think seeing something like that can shock somebody into taking action, saying I don’t want to be involved in something like that anymore.”
But Weisenberger says the next step must be off-line.
“I hope someone in Ohio has offered to help them get their lives together. We need to have more of a regional discussion about the impact of heroin, especially mostly on younger people today, and figure out what is the best way to treat them.”
A July 2016 report from the Drug Enforcement Administration Philadelphia Field Division’s Intelligence Program indicated that more than 3,300 people died from an overdose in Pennsylvania in 2015.
That same report cited a 23 percent increase in the total number of overdose deaths in Pennsylvania from 2014 to 2015.
“The face of addiction has changed and it’s certainly gotten more fatal today. The purity of the heroin on the streets is of concern today and especially in the Philadelphia area.”