Parents Using Methadone to Pacify Children, Says New Report

Parents Using Methadone to Pacify Children, Says New Report

Can you believe this? Some parents are actually using methadone to pacify children, or to just shut them up. Methadone can kill kids quicker than a bullet. It’s one of the deadliest opioids on the planet. It kills more people than any other drug. Period. Yet we have just heard that some people using methadone to treat their own addictions, people who should know better than anyone else, have been found intentionally drugging their kids with methadone to keep them quiet. Could this really be true? It’s true alright, and a new report from Adfam reveals the statistics. Adfam is a national support group in the UK that helps families affected by alcohol and drug addiction. And in the past few years, says the group, several kids have died after their parents fed them methadone to make them be quiet.

There have been 23 cases of kids ingesting drug treatment medications, the report says, and 17 of those kids died – 15 from methadone, one from buprenorphine and another from an unspecified cause. The average age of the kids was two to three years old. “Some children ingested methadone after it was stored insecurely in the home or in inappropriate containers,” the report says. But here’s the kicker: “Several children died after parents gave them methadone in deliberate but misguided attempts to pacify them.” In the UK, says Adfam, there are more than 60,000 people on addiction recovery drugs who are also responsible for the care of children. That’s a lot of potential for putting kids at risk of accidental, or intentional, drug poisoning.

In the States, that 60,000 addicts on recovery drugs might well be doubled or even tripled. And kids getting into their parents’ prescription drugs isn’t just happening in the UK – it’s a big problem here in America, too. It’s a terrible, but well known fact, that some people carelessly leave their prescription methadone or other treatment prescription drugs out where kids can get at them. As a result, almost a week doesn’t pass without a report in the media about some kid dying or nearly dying from swallowing pills or liquid methadone left out on the coffee table. In most cases, parents are arrested and charged with such crimes as ‘first-degree reckless homicide’ or ‘suspected homicide and child endangerment’. Authorities don’t take these situations lightly.

Adfam’s recommendations include better government standards for improved training for drug services, pharmacies, physicians and social workers. The dangers of drug treatment medications need to be more clearly spelled out to all concerned, and professionals need to be better informed so they can effectively “address the deliberate administration of drugs to children.” Lockable storage boxes and other safety plans should be provided for anyone responsible for child care who takes addiction treatment medication into their home.

We’re certainly in favor of better safeguards for kids, to keep them safe from exposure to harmful drugs like methadone. But taking a longer view, we’re even more in favor of dealing with methadone dependence permanently using our medical methadone detox, which should almost always be followed up with a rehabilitation program. Here at Novus, our record of helping methadone dependent people get off methadone once and for all is without question among the best in the world. And Novus accepts patients on any level of daily methadone dosage, including the highest dosages usually refused by other detox clinics. It’s always safest to raise kids in a home where drugs are not part of daily life.

So call us today, and tell us about your needs. Whether it’s for yourself or someone else, we are the experts, and we’re here to help.

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