Mother Faces Life in Prison Due to Accidental Overdose
Mother faces life in prison because of accidental methadone death of 3 year old daughter. In this report from Reno, Nevada, the District Attorney notes that the guilty verdict "should send a strong message to every methadone user ... that if you choose to bring this liquid poison into your home, you better make damn sure it's secure... If you fail to, you may be spending the rest of your life in prison.'
It's a tragic fact that a great many children are harmed (and some die) because they accidentally ingest medication prescribed for parents or other household members. A federal study released just last month Click here for the Dawn Report) estimated over 100,000 children under age 6 were seen in the nation's EDs in 2008 because of accidental poisoning. Over a quarter involved medication for heart or lung disease, and anti-depressants and non-narcotic pain relievers (like motrin and aspirin products) accounted for another 25%. When death is the outcome, is the DA really intent on seeing the parents in these tragic cases spend "the rest of their lives in prison"? Note that narcotic pain relievers (methadone is one of many) accounted for less than 4% of cases, and methadone for treatment of dependence wasn't mentioned at all by the federal report.