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Girl holds drug-affected mum's head up on city bus

06:41 Tue Mar 11 2014
Natasha Lee

Disturbing footage of a drug-affected mother struggling to maintain consciousness on a bus in the US city of Philadelphia has caused widespread public outrage.

The footage, posted to Facebook, shows the woman's young daughter trying to hold her mother's head up while she slumps forward on her seat on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) bus.

It is believed the woman was under the effects of heroin, with users often "nodding off" when under the influence.

The woman's daughter continually tries to keep her mother alert but is shouted down by the mother.

The clip was posted to the Facebook page "People of SEPTA" and has since but shared more than 75,000 times, prompting investigations by Philadelphia police and the Department of Human Services.

DHS spokeswoman Alicia Taylor told Philly.com Facebook users had identified the mother and they were trying to locate her.

"Our Facebook page has gotten a lot of comments from people who are asking us to do something," Taylor said.

"It's sad that people stood buy and nobody reported this when it happened." Taylor said child abuse was a community problem and people need to come forward to help stop it.

"If you see something, you have to say something," she said.

"People sat by on the bus, and no one called police, and no one called us."

Video source: People of SEPTA, Facebook