Devastating Video from Lawrence Shows a Mom Overdosing in a Toy Aisle
A devastating video of a mom who overdosed in the toy aisle of a Lawrence discount store with her daughter has surfaced this week, and it’s a heartbreaking reminder of what Massachusetts’ opioid abuse epidemic looks like up close.
The footage, reportedly captured by the store manager at a Family Dollar on Sunday, shows a woman lying unconscious on the floor, a toddler next to her sobbing and trying to wake her up until help arrives. The Eagle-Tribune reports that first responders later gave her Narcan, the brand name for a nasal spray drug that can revive an overdosing opioid user and keep them from dying, and took her to a nearby hospital.
An incapacitated parent, a terrified toddler in pajamas, toys strewn on the floor—these are troubling images. But they aren’t uncommon, police say.
“It’s definitely common for children to act in this way, and we have seen this before,” Lawrence Police Capt. Roy Vasque tells the Eagle-Tribune. “To put a child in such a situation shows how strong the addiction is.”
Massachusetts saw an estimated 1,659 unintentional opioid overdose deaths in 2015, according to the latest figures from the Department of Public Health. Twenty-two of them were in Lawrence, a city that officials say has become a waypoint for heroin trafficking through the Merrimack Valley to northern New England and Canada.
It was not clear Thursday morning whether the woman would face charges, but WCVB reports it’s likely that she will, and that her daughter may be taken into the care of the state. Lawrence police officials were not immediately available to provide an update.