A Massachusetts woman allegedly overdosed on heroin in the toy aisle of a Family Dollar as her 2-year-old daughter attempted to rouse her unconscious mother.
Cellphone video from Sunday shows the woman lying on the floor of the store, located onWinthrop Street in Lawrence,as her daughter tugs on her arm and steps over her limp body. No one in the store intervened, Boston Globe reported, but many stood around and watched.
"Why not help a crying child whose mother is laying there? I like to see her as a person who happens to have an addiction issue," Deanna Cruz, who helps run an opioid prevention program for Merrimack Valley, told New England Cable News.
Residue consistent with fentanyl or heroin and paraphernalia was found in the mother's bag, police said, according to reports. She was revived with two doses ofNarcan, a drug used to reverse the effects of opioids, and taken to Lawrence General Hospital, NECN reported.
“It just shows how powerful this narcotic is, that people in the throes of addiction are willing to put their loved ones in danger to feed the addiction,” Lawrence Police Chief James Fitzpatrick told the Globe.
Police said they plan to charge the woman with child endangerment, possibly on Friday, according to reports.
“On Sunday, the Department of Children and Families received a report on this situation and took emergency custody of the child,” the department said in a statement, according to the Globe. “Due to state and federal confidentiality laws, we cannot provide any further information.”
Police said they are sharing this video with the hopes of alertingthe public to this epidemic.
"It's very, very disturbing to see someone obviously in the matter of addiction, where it overtakes someone to the point where they're not able to take care of their child, leaves their child vulnerable," Fitzpatrick said,ABC7 New York reported.
An estimated 1,659 people died from opioid-related overdoses in Massachusetts last year,according to thestate Department of Public Health.
"We know in order to get addiction under control people need resources," Cruz told NECN. "People need long term sustained resources to get their addiction under control, andthat's what we don't have."