An Ohio boy can be seen breaking down in tears as his father delivers the crushing news that the child's mother has died, becoming a victim of the heroin scourge gripping America.
In a move many have viewed as extremely controversial, the 8-year-old boy’s father, Brenden Bickerstaff-Clark, had someone tape the moment. He then posted the video to Facebook.
In the video, Bickerstaff-Clark sits opposite his son at a picnic table, saying that he has to tell him something.
“Mommy died last night,” he says, holding the little boy’s hand from across the table.
"What? What do you mean, my mom? How?” the boy asks.
"From drugs," Bickerstaff-Clark replies.
The child then cries, putting his head down as his father and another woman try to comfort him.
“This is for any and every addict with children,” Bickerstaff-Clark wrote in the Facebook post. “This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. My son has no mother because of heroin… This is the reality of our disease. Don’t let this disease have to make someone tell your child you’re dead because of drugs.”
Bickerstaff-Clark went on to say that he’d been clean from his own addiction for 94 days. He also assured viewers that the post was not staged.
“This is so addicts with children can see the seriousness of our epidemic. I am a recovering addict myself,” he said in the post.
Since posting it Monday, the video has 27 million views.
Bickerstaff-Clark’s decision to share the video came under mass scrutiny from those who believed it was insensitive to his child.
“Why would you record your child for you to say that to him and post it on the internet?! What's the achievement here only for that poor kids face being on the internet being told the worst news to ever receive?” one user wrote.
The backlash is reminiscent of an Ohio police department’s decision to post a photo of a 4-year-old boy in the back seat with his grandparent and her friend passed out in the front seat.
Tyler Bickerstaff, a cousin of the father told InsideEdition.com, that heroin is a big problem in their area.
“That's all I have been seeing on the TV is overdoses in Niles Warren it's getting ridiculous,” said Bickerstaff. “It’s terrible that happened to his son’s mother."