Parents arrested after 2-year-old ingests ‘rainbow fentanyl’ in Northern California, authorities say
Police say all seven were booked on suspicion of child abuse, drug sales and transporting controlled substances.
The incident took place in the area of El Sobrante Boulevard and South Fair Oaks Way in San Mateo County.
In a news release, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said that after 2-year-old Sophia Wooten ingested a substance that contained fentanyl, authorities say the child became unresponsive, then began exhibiting respiratory symptoms.
Family members said she had fallen asleep on the couch and had been left unattended.
The child was taken to Kaiser Permanente hospital in San Jose but has since been released.
All seven suspects have since been arrested. Authorities say Wooten was on probation at the time of the incident and was arrested on a parole violation.
The children at the house appear to have been inebriated, police said.
In March 2019, the Department of Justice issued a notice of intent to sue the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and several private companies for violating federal regulations concerning the production and use of opioids in food.
The notice of intent says the agencies’ actions and inactions have resulted in a national tragedy in which children are being poisoned on school grounds, and it says the action will result in a $2 billion fund.
A statement from the USDA said: “We have not been served with any lawsuits or notices from attorneys general or states, and we have no current knowledge of any such actions.”
Weeks later, on May 8, 2019, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta reported a surge in the number of drug overdose deaths in Florida. Officials said the number of drug-related deaths increased from nearly 1,200 in 2018 to nearly 1,700 in 2019.
In the same month, the CDC reported an increase in the number of fatalities related to opioids in California.
The opioid overdose crisis continues to be a serious problem in the United States, with overdose deaths climbing to more than 44,000 in 2019. The CDC says 1.2 million people have used synthetic opioids in the last year alone, and that number is expected to reach 2 million.