A 2-year-old was caught on video crying and pulling on her mother who had apparently overdosed and passed out on the floor of a Massachusetts discount store.
The toddler, dressed in pajamas, appeared to be in great distress as her mother lays motionless in the toy aisle of a Family Dollar store in Lawrence, but police said the mother did survive.
Someone reportedly recorded the video while bystanders called 911 on Sunday morning. Lawrence Police Chief James Fitzpatrick told WMUR he was disturbed that no one checked on or comforted the mom.
“I mean, it’s heartbreaking, obviously, to watch that video,” said Fitzpatrick “The child’s not being taken care of.”
Police said they found drug paraphernalia in the mother’s diaper bag. She was administered two doses of Narcan, according to reports.
The name of the mother has not been released but she will most likely be charged with child endangerment, according to police. The child is reportedly safe.
Fitzpatrick told WMUR that he doesn’t believe in shaming addicts, but says posting the video publicly could save lives.
“I could see that there’s a value in the fact that people can see, firsthand, how debilitating [drugs are] and what this addiction causes,” Fitzpatrick said. “Maybe it’s a message to stay away from these narcotics… Help people who are addicted to these narcotics, because it not only affects them, it’s a lot of collateral damage.”
Fitzpatrick’s decision to release the video comes about two weeks after an Ohio police department made the contentious call to share the un-blurred photo of a child in the backseat of a car with his overdosed grandmother and her friend slumped in front.
Many found it was insensitive to the child, but the East Liverpool Police Department in Ohio defended their actions, saying they were highlighting a disturbing epidemic that has gripped the community.
The incident was one of five of its kind shared by officials the past two weeks and may help shed light on the growing drug problem in American — specifically heroin.
East Liverpool Police Chief John Lane told InsideEdition.com: “It’s a photo that needs to be shared… This is a major issue that needs to be dealt with. It’s happening all over and little kids are caught up in this… It’s very frustrating.”