Two-Month-Old Pittsburgh Baby’s Methadone Overdose: Parents Facing Child Endangerment Charges

A South Side, Pittsburgh couple is facing child endangerment charges after their two-month-old baby overdosed on methadone. Lorie Adkins and Erik Eakin found the child unresponsive on Oct. 11.

That same day, the baby was brought to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC after going into respiratory arrest, Fox 25 Boston reported. The baby's urine indicated that he was exposed to methadone and was revived by the rescue drug Narcan, an opiate antidote that is also used on morphine, codeine, oxycodone and Vicodin overdoses.

Adkins told the staff at the hospital that she has a daily methadone intake. She believed that the baby must have overdosed from the drug via breastfeeding but the infant's medical report stated that the child's symptoms won't be that severe just by being exposed to methadone via his mother's breastmilk.

A staff of Children's Home, a local non-profit organization that caters to medically compromised babies, told a caseworker for the Office of Children, Youth and Families that the baby wasn't breastfed. Staff from Children's Home told a detective that Adkins had to feed the infant with formula while she was recuperating in the hospital because her breast doesn't produce enough milk.

Warrants of arrest have been issued for Adkins and Eakin. The couple was charged with child endangerment and recklessly endangering another person.

Methadone is primarily used as a pain reliever and shouldn't be used by people with severe asthma or breathing problems, as well as those with a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus (intestinal blockage). Methadone overdose symptoms include slow breathing and heart rate, severe drowsiness, muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils and fainting, listed.

Meanwhile, a separate methadone overdose occurred in Hagerstown, Maryland involving a five-year-old girl. Like the two-month-old baby in Pittsburgh, the girl was revived with naloxone or Narcan, the Associated Press (via ABC2 News) reported.

The girl's 31-year-old mother, Jeanie White, and her 35-year-old aunt, Tracy Bolinger, have been charged with child neglect, reckless endangerment and contributing to the condition of a child, according to court documents. The child swallowed an adult dose of liquid methadone that was left behind by Bolinger on a kitchen counter.

Authorities said that Bolinger and White were aware of the child's methadone ingestion immediately after the incident happened. The women, however, waited for more than four hours before taking the girl to a hospital.

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