Toxicology expert gives advice after arrest of mother accused of drugging her child

A teenage mother is in jail after police say her child died of a drug overdose. Investigators say fentanyl was added to the infant formula.

NASSAU COUNTY, FLORIDA, Florida. A teenage mother is in jail after police say her child died of a drug overdose.

Investigators say the infant formula contained fentanyl.

Investigators say the baby bottle contained enough fentanyl to kill ten adult men.

“This is the second time I can think of that opioids were suspected in the area in the last six months,” said Mike McCormick, Florida Poison Control.

Florida Poison Control’s McCormick says child deaths from fentanyl are becoming more common. A study published in the Journal Pediatrics found that between 2005 and 2018, opioids accounted for more than 47% of deaths from poisoning among children aged 5 and under.

He says the recent Callahan case shows that people need to pay close attention to their loved ones.

“You have to refer people to treatment because that’s really the only way to get people out of this vicious cycle that can lead to fatal and tragic consequences,” McCormick said.

First Coast News received a photo of a baby bottle. Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leaper says the young mother used it back in June to feed her 9-month-old baby formula mixed with cocaine.

“Most children are born to loving parents who take care of all their needs, but unfortunately, some children are born to people who should not be parents,” said Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leaper.

Investigators say the mother changed her story several times during the course of the investigation, but eventually admitted that she thought she had given the child cocaine.

Poison control experts say it’s safe to assume most illicit drugs currently contain fentanyl.

“There are many non-profit organizations in the Jacksonville area that can help. Drug Free Duval and the Opioid Project can help,” McCormick said.

The Nassau County Overdose Awareness Workshop will be held August 31 at Callahan Baptist Church beginning at 6:30 pm. Anyone can attend.

If you witness a seizure or pass out due to an overdose, call the Florida Poison Control Helpline at 1-800-222-1222 for help and treatment.

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