Brenden Bickerstaff-Clark’s Facebook video has more than 26 million views and well over half a million shares. The comment thread stretches into the tens of thousands.
“This is for any and every addict with children. Today I had to tell my 8 year old son that his mommy died from a drug overdose last night. This is the relization and reality of our disease. Don’t let this disease have to make someone tell your child that your dead because of drugs. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. My son has no mother because of heroin… Kinda hard to hear but you can hear what we’re saying,” reads the caption above the video in all caps.
It is clear that Bickerstaff posted the video as a cautionary tale. In it he sits opposite his son at a picnic bench while someone else films. Bickerstaff tells his unsuspecting son that the boy’s mother has died of a heroin overdose.
Reaction to the video has been mixed.
Across the nation opioid addiction and death by overdose has risen at an alarming rate. From 2001 to 2014 death from heroin overdose increased 600 percent, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Recently the Ohio Police Department posted a graphic photo of a couple who had suffered heroin overdoses while driving with a 4-year-old. The photo shows the boy strapped into his car seat as his caretakers lie slack jawed and comatose in the foreground of the photo, another cautionary tale.
“We are aware that some may be offended by these images and for that we are truly sorry, but it is time that the non drug using public sees what we are now dealing with on a daily basis,” the East Liverpool City government said on their Facebook page.
The adults pictured in the photo above were treated using the drug Narcan and survived the ordeal.
If the heroin epidemic sweeping the nation continues at this pace, it’s very possible we will see more photos and videos of this nature popping up in our social media feeds.