Lauren Story crouched down in front of her four-year-old son in a Cincinnati alley with a friend. While the boy was busy playing with a smartphone, his mother was busy shooting herself up with heroin.
Jon Donaldson caught the moment on video, according to WCPO. Donaldson described what he saw that urged him to hit the record button:
“[Story and her partner] were not paying attention to the boy at all, their focus was on their drugs … the boy was just sitting against the wall really behaving and watching his parents just put poison in their arms.”
The boy can be seen sitting on the ground, leaning against the wall, and calmly walking around his mother while her eyes are fixated on her arm and the needle.Screenshot/KMOV
Lauren’s sister, Morgan Story, teared up as she saw her sister inject drugs into her arm right in front of her four-year-old nephew. She said:
“I hope this is rock bottom, if it isn’t, I don’t want to think about what would be.”
Sadly though, Morgan wasn’t shocked or surprised after watching her sister slowly became an addict.Screenshot/KMOV
“She changed. It was just a gradual descent. I don’t even think she saw herself going down that road until she was gone.”
Her sister’s arrest record already includes driving while intoxicated and operating a vehicle under the influence.
Morgan hopes that her sister will open her eyes now:
“I just want her to get help and realize she is better than that, because everybody is better than that and there is help.”
A police officer took Lauren into custody in downtown Cincinnati after recognizing her from the disturbing video.Screenshot/KMOV
She had four syringes in her purse at the time of her arrest.
The mother was charged with possession of drug abuse instruments and drug paraphernalia and endangering her son.Screenshot/KMOV
Donaldson doesn’t blame the drug problem on residents in the area; he blames the outsiders for bringing the problem in:
“I think the people [who live here] are solid people. The people that are the problem are the people that come down here and sell their dope and the people that come down here and buy their dope.”
Donaldson wants federal officials to step in to battle the drug epidemic ravaging people across the country.
As Drugrehab.us reports, the epidemic has a class of unintended victims — children. According to the website:
Over eight million children live with at least one parent who’s addicted to alcohol or drugs, including 14 percent of children under two years old, 12 percent aged six to 11 years old, and 10 percent are between the ages of 12 and 17 years old.
Children with parents who abuse substances are three times more likely to be abused, and more than four times as likely to be neglected, than those who grow up without an addicted parent.
Researchers consistently find links between a parent’s substance abuse and a child’s likelihood of developing alcohol and drug problems later in life.
According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, parents who abuse alcohol, or use illegal drugs or tobacco, put half the nation’s children — over 35 million children — at a greater risk of substance abuse and other physical and mental illnesses.
Children who have parents who abuse drugs or alcohol have an increased risk of accidents, injuries, and academic failure. They are also more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and conduct disorders.
As KMOV reports, Lauren is being held on $22,000 bond. Hamilton County Municipal Court judge Tyrone Yates said he would let her out without paying the bond if she agreed to be placed under house arrest.
Lauren has been ordered to attend drug treatment and told to stay away from her child until county child caseworkers approve their reunion.
Relatives say the four-year-old boy is now in his father’s custody.