She thought it was candy. Of course she did because she’s a 4-year-old girl with no concept of what heroin is. So, she sneaked into her mother’s things and took out bags and bags of what she thought were packages with temporary tattoos and candy in them. Then took all these little tiny bags, actually filled with heroin, to day care and started handing them out. She likely thought this was a nice thing to do. She likely thought “jackpot!”
Director and owner/operator Alisa Johnson says Monday was “a normal morning.” A classroom teacher noticed the little girl was passing something out to other children. “In the bag, it looked like a tattoo,” Johnson said.
The day care, located at the Delaware State Housing Authority’s Hickory Tree Apartments, has a rule that nothing can be brought into the classroom, so the teacher told the children to put them in their pockets.
Another employee saw the packets later in the morning, recognized what they were and alerted Johnson, who immediately searched the children’s pockets and belongings. She collected the packets.
“I put it in a Food Lion bag and took it to the Selbyville police,” Johnson said. “I said to them, ‘can you tell me what this is?’ ”
They recognized it as heroin right away, she said. “You wouldn’t have known. It looked like sugar.”
The little girl’s mom was promptly arrested and separated from the little girl as well as her 9-year-old brother and 11-year-old sister. They’re all staying with relatives now and the drug war against the poor and hopeless continues unabated.
This is not a happy story nor is it an isolated one.
Heroin use has been on the rise in many places all over the country including in my home region of Appalachia. Gee, I wonder why that is? Couldn’t be the fault of illicit prescription and overprescription of opioids like Oxycontin since 1991.
Yes, yes it is.
Drug maker Purdue Pharma misled the public and doctors about Oxycontin’s addictive qualities and created poor drug addicts who, once the prescription drugs increased in price and became harder to get, resorted to heroin. The below references Purdu Pharma, the makers of Oxycontin and the company that started this whole mess nationwide.
In May 2007 the company pleaded guilty to misleading the public about Oxycontin’s risk of addiction, and agreed to pay $600 million in one of the largest pharmaceutical settlements in U.S. history. Its president, top lawyer, and former chief medical officer pleaded guilty as individuals to misbranding charges, a criminal violation, and agreed to pay a total of $34.5 million in fines. Those executives are: Michael Friedman, the company’s president, who agreed to pay $19 million in fines; Howard R. Udell, its top lawyer, who agreed to pay $8 million; and Dr. Paul D. Goldenheim, its former medical director, who agreed to pay $7.5 million.
In addition three top executives were charged with a felony and sentenced to 400 hours of community service in drug treatment programs.
On October 4, 2007 Kentucky officials sued Purdue because of widespread Oxycontin abuse in Appalachia. A lawsuit filed by Kentucky then-Attorney General Greg Stumbo and Pike County officials demanded millions in compensation.
So, it’s more complicated than “4-year-old takes heroin to daycare because mom is a dope dealer” but just so we won’t have to think at all let’s just chalk it up to a “terrible mother” type story and get on with our lives.
Please pardon my frustration.