Mother shoots up as her kids watch
A BURNSIDE mother caught shooting up in a public toilet with her baby on her lap has been urged to decide between continued heavy drug use and keeping her children.
The mother, 33, was arrested earlier this month after police heard yelling in a Maroochydore shopping centre toilet.
The officers forced their way in and found her sitting on the tiled floor - preparing to inject herself - with the baby on her lap and her toddler nearby.
The woman faced Maroochydore Magistrates Court yesterday.
The court heard the mother had "a spoon with a white milky substance on it, and an uncapped needle, which she tried to hide from police".
The woman confessed to the officers that the substance was an Oxycontin tablet mixed with water to enable it to be injected.
She had bought one tablet of the drug, which is a controlled pain-relief opioid, from a friend for $50. It can be fatal for children.
Acting Magistrate Peter Hasted warned the mother of the consequences of any continued drug use.
"You must address this issue with drugs," Mr Hasted said. "You have a young family that you need to look after and you must get on top of it."
Mr Hasted noted the woman had pleaded guilty early to several offences and that she had strong family support at the courthouse for her appearance.
"If you don't get on top of the use of dangerous drugs, child safety will get involved - that could be disappointing and heartbreaking for you," he said.
"You must decide what is more important to you - your children or the drugs."
The mother was fined $400.
Major Sue McGuigan, a welfare worker with the Salvation Army in Maroochydore, described the mother's scenario as "confronting".
"Addiction does have people doing things they wouldn't normally do," she said.
Major McGuigan suggested such desperate situations were more common in major cities, but not unheard of locally, and urged anyone with problems to seek assistance.
"Come forward and come and talk to us," she said.
"There are various ways we can help people.
"We can certainly help empower someone and give them pathways, and help them in these pathways."
The Sunshine Coast Daily decided not to publish the mother's name in order to protect her children.