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Stomach-churning video of neglected baby places US opioid epidemic center stage

Stomach-churning video of neglected baby places US opioid epidemic center stage
A Florida couple became the latest poster children for America’s opioid epidemic when the Volusia County Sheriff's office posted a video of them passed out in their car with their baby in the backseat.

Upon noticing a suspicious car in a Volusia County parking lot, police moved in for a closer look. They noticed that the windows were fogged up “indicating that the vehicle had been sitting for an extended amount of time.”

Inside, a couple were passed out, with their child in the backseat. One of the officers rapped on the vehicle’s roof, wakening the couple from their opioid-induced slumber.

While officers were speaking with the pair, the child began crying.

READ MORE: US police shame drug users with shocking photo of them passed out with child in backseat

"It became apparent the infant had not had her diaper changed in some time,” police said.

“The appearance of the baby was dirty” and it “had not been bathed in some time. The baby appeared to be hungry” and “cried and reached for an empty bottle when she saw it,” the authorities added.

WARNING: Some viewers may find this footage distressing.

The couple were promptly arrested and charged with drug and other offenses. The neglected child was placed into the care of the Department of Children and Families.

READ MORE: 2016 saw highest drug death toll in US history, AG Sessions says

The US is currently in the grips of an opioid epidemic, with 2016 the worst year in the country’s history for drug-related deaths. US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions said that about “60,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses” last year, up 8,000 from 2015.

“This epidemic is filling up our cemeteries, our emergency rooms, and equally tragic — our foster homes,” Sessions said.