Echo Harper is in a Pennsylvania prison — and she has her mother to thank for calling police.
As NorthCentralPA.com reports, 32-year-old Harper was staying at the home of her mother with her two small children when she left her diaper bag lying on the floor near her baby’s crib. Harper’s mother went into the bag and found a syringe wrapped inside. The Williamsport mother immediately called police.
It was the second phone call to police about her daughter in two days.
According to PennLive, Harper’s mother called police the day before after finding an uncapped used syringe in her daughter’s bathroom. Harper reportedly admitted to police she “forgot” she had left the syringe in the sink after injecting herself with heroin.
Her mother indicated to authorities that although Harper suffered a nonfatal overdose in July, she continued to use heroin regularly.
In Pennsylvania, heroin addiction has reached crisis levels. Nearly 80 percent of counties have overdose rates that exceed the national average — 36.5 fatal overdoses per 100,000 people, according to PennLive. The national average at the time of PennLive’s reporting was 16.3 overdoses per 100,000 people.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pennsylvania hospitals have seen a 66 percent increase in admissions for heroin overdose over the past two years.
Harper’s mother has not commented publicly about the decision to call the authorities, but commenters agree they are glad she did. One comment on PennLive reads: “Grandma did the right thing. Tough love is exactly that … tough.”
Harper was charged with two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and taken to jail, unable to post $7,500 bail.
Her mother was given emergency custody of her children.