A two-year-old boy from Asbury Park died after accidentally ingesting heroin and fentanyl that was within access in his Mother's apartment. Tapinto.net covered the story and reported that although the Mother contacted paramedics, her son was unresponsive and pronounced dead when they were at the local hospital. The Mother was arrested that same day by the Asbury Park Police Department and later pled guilty to a first-degree aggravated manslaughter charge. The Mother is currently serving an eight-year sentence in state prison. While incredibly tragic, fentanyl-related deaths for babies, infants, and older children are rising.
If you suspect that your ex or spouse may be intentionally or unintentionally exposing your child to the threat of accidental fentanyl ingestion, contact our Family Law Team today for help by calling (888) 535-3686 or reach out to us through our online form.
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid commonly used to treat patients with severe pain, such as during surgery, or life-threatening conditions, such as terminal cancer. Due to its incredibly high potency of 100 times Morphine levels, fentanyl has to be closely monitored for potential overdoses. When prescribed, the drug is usually given as a shot, a patch for a person to wear, or a throat lozenge.
The Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1960
Enacted by Congress in 1960, the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1960 (“PPPA) requires that certain household substances, medications, or hazardous substances remain locked to prevent your children from accessing harmful items. As fentanyl is exponentially more potent than most medications, it requires meticulous storage. Failure to adhere to PPPA guidelines for Fentanyl storage can easily result in severe harm or even death to a child, especially toddlers, and babies.
The Heightened Risk of Fentanyl's Potency
Although any accidental ingestion by a minor can be dangerous due to the fentanyl's potency, drug dealers can get away with mixing a minute amount of fentanyl with other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, to increase potency without the associated costs. As the National Institute of Health points out, many users may be using drugs laced with fentanyl without ever realizing it. Prescribed patches and lozenges that are the correct potency for adults in a household can quickly turn deadly when accessed and ingested by children, who are much more likely to overdose on the prescribed amount due to their lower body weight.
Worried About Fentanyl at Your Ex's House?
If your ex has a substance abuse history, you have a right to be concerned about their custody status and supervision of your children. Even if your ex never did “hard drugs,” the stories of fentanyl-laced substances are growing daily, and your child(ren) may be in a hazardous environment under their care. New Jersey Child Welfare Services takes all substance abuse problems, especially fentanyl, seriously and will not hesitate to intervene and remove a child from their parents or caregivers for failure to secure even prescribed doses of fentanyl.
If you suspect that your ex or spouse has accessible fentanyl in their house, you must seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Our Family Law Team at the Lento Law Firm can use various tools and strategies to keep your children safe, from seeking a protective order to making a custody modification request and beyond.
New Jersey Family Law Attorneys
If you suspect that your child may be endangered by access to fentanyl and other hazardous substances, contact the Lento Law Firm by calling (888) 535-3686 to discuss the next steps for your family or reach out to us by utilizing our online contact form.