A 26-year-old woman from Delaware County was booked on Aug. 16, 2017, on several charges, including neglect of a dependent, after her 16-month-old son overdosed on heroin, media reports said. Later, the baby had to be revived with naloxone, a medication used to treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency, at a hospital.
According to court documents, the toddler was found with a small plastic bag in his mouth. The bag reportedly contained a powdery substance believed to be heroin. The kid fell sick after ingesting the drug. Daisha Clark, the baby’s mother, has also been charged with possession of a syringe and drug paraphernalia.
Eric Hoffman, Delaware County’s chief deputy prosecutor, got annoyed with the incident. “You have the addict who chooses to take the drug … but then when people who don’t make that choice to take the drugs are impacted or hurt in some way, I think that’s angering,” WISHTV quoted him as saying.
In another case, a one-year-old Ohio boy had to be revived with naloxone after his nine-year-old brother found him breathless at their home in June 2017. His brother had called 911, following which paramedics attended to the child and administered a dose of naloxone. The baby’s mother, who had fled the site when officers arrived, was later arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Rising prevalence of accidental overdoses in children
An April 2017 study, published in the journal Pediatrics, reported exposures to prescription opioids among U.S. children and adolescents younger than 20, between 2000 and 2015. Of the total opioid exposures, 95.8 percent occurred at home with 98.4 percent of them resulting from ingestion.
Nearly 86 percent exposures among kids aged 0 to 5 years were unintentional or nontherapeutic, which was attributed to exploratory behaviors of the children. In addition, the toxicity of an opioid exposure can be higher for children over adults, as they have smaller body mass, the study revealed. Dr. Gary Smith, co-author and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, emphasized on the need for continuous assessment of prescription practices. He also advocated for increasing awareness programs for parents to educate them about safe ways to store prescription medications at home.
Researchers suggest the use of blister packs for packaging opioid drugs. Using single-dose packages, instead of an entire bottle filled with prescription pills, may be effective in helping prevent accidental exposure and the resulting complications in children. While prevention should be the foremost priority of parents, timely medical assistance is mandatory for even a suspicion of drug exposure. Reluctance to seek medical help may lead to fatal consequences.
Hooked Sober is a source of information on drugs, alcohol, eating disorders and mental disorders. Please send your questions, concerns or comments to [email protected] or speak to a representative at 866-838-4087.
New Jersey teen died due to fentanyl and heroin overdose