Three-year-old hospitalized for suspected heroin overdose in Flint

Addiction Treatment Center focusing on education and awareness to understand the potential dangers extending to young children
Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 10:37 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (03/29/2021) - Flint police say a 3-year-old child is expected to survive after a suspected heroin overdose.

The Flint Police Department responded to an address on East Stewart Avenue near Martin Luther King Avenue on Monday afternoon. The child was rushed to an area hospital, but investigators believe the child will recover.

In recent years, deaths from drug poisoning have been recognized as a serious public health concern, especially with opioids like prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl. The 2016 number of opioid deaths is 17 times higher than the 1999 number.

“Use is up, which then increases the chances for overdose. The potency is up, which increases the chance for overdose. Fentanyl being mixed in everything increases the chance for overdose, so very, very dangerous times,” said Aaron Rubio, president of the United Community Addiction Network addiction treatment center in Flint.

He said the opioid epidemic doesn’t just affect adults, but it can also turn innocent children into collateral damage quickly and tragically.

“All it takes is a child to come across it even on their fingertips, absorb it through the fingertips and it can still cause an overdose,” Rubio said.

In Flint, a 3-year-old was hospitalized for a suspected heroin overdose on Monday. That child was taken to Hurley Medical Center and now is expected to survive.

While police work to find out exactly how that may have happened in this case, Rubio is focused on education and awareness, so people who use drugs know the potential dangers extend to the people around them too.

“We promote a lot with prescription drugs, saying proper use, misuse, storage, disposal of medications, and make sure you’re keeping it up and out of sight, so to speak. We almost have to translate that into the illicit world too to make people cognitive and understand it could just be residue left on the table that could cause someone at a young age to overdose,” Rubio said.

To get help or how you can help, visit the United Community Action Network by clicking here.

The investigation related to Monday’s suspected overdose is ongoing.

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