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Narcan had to be used on toddler who got his hands on methadone; mother faces charges

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MILWAUKEE -- EMS crews with the Milwaukee Fire Department raced to a home on Milwaukee's south side. When they arrived, they revived a baby...using Narcan. Police said the 21-month-old child had methadone in his system.

Narcan has become regularly used to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose. It was recently used on a tiny victim who got his hands on methadone.

At the West Milwaukee Comprehensive Treatment Center, methadone, which is used to help addicts stop craving drugs, is secured and regulated. It is stored in a safe, with cameras surrounding it.


West Milwaukee Comprehensive Treatment Center

Anyone taking a dose home for use is warned.

"We even have some clients who put their lock box in a safe at home or find it in a high up area where no child could reach it just because of the dangers of it and how important it is to keep even a drop away from a child," Morgan Steinbrecher said.

According to police, methadone was accidentally swallowed by a 21-month-old by in an apartment near S. 51st and Plainfield.

No one answered the door at the apartment building on Wednesday, March 8th.

A source told FOX6 News it was the child's 27-year-old mother who bought the methadone off the street, and left the medication unattended. That's when the child got his hands on it. The source said Narcan had to be used to revive the child.

Steinbrecher said it wouldn't take much for a child to overdose.

Morgan Steinbrecher

"If you or I would take even a drop of methadone, we could potentially overdose because our body isn't use to opioids -- as someone who's addicted to heroin or Oxycontin or Percocet is," Steinbrecher said.

MFD's EMS director said in 2016, they treated 1,014 people who overdosed on opiates, reviving them with Narcan. 10 were children younger than 18. There's concern that methadone is being sold on the streets, where buyers might not be aware of how lethal it can be.

"Unfortunately there is illicit methadone on the streets," Steinbrecher said.

There's no word on the condition of the 21-month-old boy. His mother is facing possible charges of child neglect causing injury.