LAWRENCE (CBS) – A heartbreaking video of a mother lying unconscious on a store floor while her little girl tried to revive her has led to criminal charges.
The video obtained by Lawrence Police shows a crying 2-year-old girl trying to wake up her mom after the woman collapsed from an apparent drug overdose in an aisle of a Family Dollar store in Lawrence Sunday morning.
A clerk called 911 and paramedics arrived a short time later. They revived the woman with Narcan, which is used to reverse opiate overdoses.
Police told WBZ-TV they are not releasing the woman’s name at this point in the investigation. She is 36 years old and lives in Salem, New Hampshire.
She will be charged with child endangerment. Investigators said they do not have enough evidence to charge her with any drug-related violations.
Lawrence police say the incident shows the darkest side of drug addiction that officers have seen.
“It’s very disturbing to see someone like this. It’s obvious addiction has overtaken them, to the point of not being able to care for their child,” said Chief James Fitzpatrick.
It’s also leading police to question whether the little girl, seen trying to wake her mother, has witnessed this before.
In a nearby diaper bag police found baggies and straws with residue from either fentanyl or heroin they say the woman likely inhaled.
“She’s lucky to be alive,” said Fitzpatrick.
As difficult as it is for the public to witness, Fitzpatrick says being in public may have helped the toddler in this instance.
While police say it’s troubling an onlooker would record the scene rather than help, there’s a powerful lesson.
“People who are thinking about or dealing with addiction issues, think what it’s like to have this type of narcotic in your system and what it does to you,” said Fitzpatrick.
The toddler is now in the custody of the Department of Children and Families, while the mother who spent a night in the hospital, will be summonsed to court.