Father films moment he tells his 8-year-old son that his mother overdosed on heroin

Brenden Bickerstaff-Clark wanted to show addicts how drugs damage families

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Brenden Bickerstaff-Clark, a father from Youngstown, Ohio, shared a video on Monday that’s been viewed more than 24 million times on Facebook. In the footage, Mr Bickerstaff-Clark tells his 8-year-old son, Cameron, that his mother recently died of a heroin overdose.

Mr Bickerstaff-Clark is a recovering addict and wanted to show others the damaging impact drugs can have on families.

“Please get help so our children don’t have to suffer,” he wrote in the Facebook caption. “This wasn’t staged. This was real. I had someone record this so addicts with children can see the seriousness of our epidemic. I am a recovering addict myself with 94 days clean today. Please share and maybe help save a child’s parents life.”

According to statistics from the Ohio Department of Health, heroin has accounted for 1,424 unintentional overdoses in the Buckeye State, adding to the record-high 3,050 overdoses last year.

Tonya Tutoki‎, a Niles resident, addressed criticism of the video in the video’s comment section.

“I know you might be tired of people posting to your wall, but I just want to point out how many people saw the video and added their input,” she wrote on Facebook.

“You and your son are in many people's prayers and you truly got the message out that it has an effect on others, tremendously. Many people are [close-minded] and they say it's because they have no sympathy because that person chose to do it. Well, an addict is someone's child, mother, significant other, and so on. I hope that those viewers, shares, comments, likes, and reactions were lives being touched. You and your son are definitely in my prayers!”

Dr Joseph Ohr, a forensic pathologist in Mahoning County, recently told The Vindicator, a newspaper in Youngstown, that 22 deaths in the area have been linked to heroin since August.