BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – So many victims of the illicit opioid fentanyl are in their teens, in their 20s, in their early 30s.
Bakersfield has now seen a new low – a one-year-old.
The incident is alleged to have happened at the Edgewater apartments on Kroll Way in west Bakersfield, literally next door to the dorm towers at CSU Bakersfield. Police say the boy somehow ingested fentanyl, a drug 50 times more potent than heroin and typically used as a substitute for that street opioid. Police suspect the baby came into contact with paraphernalia. The child was hospitalized in stable condition and is now in the custody of Child Protective Services.
Arrested were the boy’s parents John Lawson, 20 and Gabriella Goldberg, also 20. District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said they have bailed out of jail and face arraignment on Feb. 7. Efforts to contact them have been unsuccessful thus far.
The case has not yet been referred to the DA’s office – which according to Zimmer already has a number of cases on its plate involving fentanyl, which is deadly in minute “It doesn’t take very much to become poisoned by it, at all,” she said. “Two to three milligrams is a lethal dose. So think how lethal it can be for a baby that’s 20 pounds.”
A neighbor of the arrested couple, Taylor Stevenson, said the apartment complex looked like a crime scene – because it was.
“We didn’t see anybody get pulled out of the apartment or anything but it was definitely a lot of commotion for hours,” she said.
News of the incident hit home because she and her husband have a baby girl, Everly, who is almost one. Street drugs these days are too unpredictable, she said.
“Don’t trust anything,” Stevenson said. “And to think about that around little kids – it’s so sad. They don’t know.”
Last year, more than 200 people died from fentanyl overdoses in Kern County. It can take as little as 2 milligrams of the drug — the equivalent of five to seven grains of salt — for a deadly dose, and it’s often mixed with other illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine and counterfeit oxycodone pills.
If amounts that small can be deadly to an adult, how great a risk is fentanyl to a small child?
The lesson? Your drug use might not just affect you personally. It can affect everyone in your household. In west Bakersfield, Robert Price, 17 News.
If you have information regarding this incident, call the police department at 661-327-7111. And if you want to learn more about the fentanyl epidemic in general, you’re encouraged to watch a forum hosted by Bakersfield Recovery Services and local law enforcement on the dangers and effects this drug poses to our community. Watch it at 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening on KGET.com or on the KGET Facebook page.