A teenage mother in Florida has been arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter after she allegedly gave her 10-month-old son a lethal dose of fentanyl in his formula.
The mother, who has not been identified, told police that she thought the substance in the orange pill bottle was cocaine and that she gave it to her son in order to make him sleep so she could rest. However, the substance was actually fentanyl, a powerful opioid that can be fatal in even small doses.
The baby was found unresponsive on June 26 and was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy determined that he died from fentanyl poisoning.
The mother has since confessed to giving her son the fentanyl and has been charged with aggravated manslaughter and possession of a controlled substance. She is being held without bail.
Sheriff Bill Leeper of Nassau County said that the mother's actions were "sick" and that she had "no regard for the life of her child." He also said that the case was a "tragic reminder" of the dangers of fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is often used as a pain medication, but it is also illegally manufactured and sold as a street drug. Fentanyl overdoses have become increasingly common in recent years, and the drug has been linked to a number of deaths.
The mother's case is a reminder of the importance of being aware of the dangers of fentanyl and of storing any prescription medications safely out of the reach of children.