A 10-month-old baby in Methuen, Massachusetts had to be revived twice on Saturday after being exposed to the drug fentanyl, which is a narcotic used to treat severe pain. It can cause respiratory distress or death if taken in doses that are too high.
Early Saturday afternoon, police arrived at a home in Methuen after a 911 call was made about a child not breathing. First responders rushed the infant to Lawrence General Hospital. Once the 10-month-old arrived at the hospital, police state that the child had stopped breathing two times and needed to be resuscitated. The baby girl was then airlifted to Tuffs Medical Center in Boston. The 10-month-old was listed in stable condition, reports the Huffington Post.
A relative of the child told local media that the baby girl was doing “fine.” She was released from the hospital on Monday.
Police state that blood tests run by the hospital show that the 10-month-old’s system tested positive for fentanyl. Authorities are still investigating the incident. In the meantime, the Department of Children and Families has taken custody of the 10-month-old baby girl.
Mayor Zanni of Methuen said, in a press release on Monday, that the fentanyl epidemic “knows no boundaries.” Zanni continued by saying we must do everything we can to fight the disease of addiction and to ensure that children do not have access to harmful substances, WREG News 3 reported.
Lt. Michael Pappalardo of the Methuen Police said there were numerous items found in the infant’s home that were of interest. Pappalardo did not state whether officers found drugs in the residence. So far, there have been no arrests in connection to the incident.
On Monday, the Methuen Police announced that they had seized 14 kilos of fentanyl. Reportedly, the drug had a street value of $1.2 million.
The deadly drug has made headlines for all the wrong reasons far too often. Over the past 5 years, cities across the United States have seen overdose breakouts. The breakouts became so common that the United States Drug Administration (DEA) issued a nationwide alert in 2015 about the dangers of fentanyl, according to the Killeen Daily Herald.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that from 2013 to 2014, overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, have increased by 80 percent. In 2014, 5,500 people lost their lives due to overdoses involving these drugs.
Fentanyl is a prescription drug used in the treatment and management of severe pain. While similar, it is far more powerful than morphine. Doctors typically prescribe Fentanyl as an injection. However, it is also available in patch and pill forms.
By Tammy Marie Rose
Photo Courtesy Google Earth