Addictions can bring about some truly heartbreaking scenarios. And one of the worst ones of all is when a child is hurt because of a parents’ dependency. An example of this happened just last week in our home state of California; ultimately leading to a toddler’s accidental overdose death after being exposed to fentanyl.
The Los Angeles Times covered this latest incident, which occurred in Contra Costa County. In this instance, two-year-old Jasani Kerry Jr. got hold of his mother’s fentanyl stash and ingested a large amount. He died that same day and now the mom, 22-year-old Genesis Barrera-Galdamez, is facing a murder charge.
According to police, Barrera-Galdamez discovered her son unconscious after she herself had gone through a drug binge. Medical personnel were promptly called, but after 30 minutes of CPR they could not save the child. Drug paraphernalia was found strewn throughout the house where Barrera-Galdamez and her toddler lived, highlighting the fact that he had easy access to some very dangerous substances.
Speaking with the press after the incident, Contra County homicide unite supervisor Derek Butts laid out how they intend to arraign Barrera-Galdamez. Not a first degree murder charge per se, but some serious jail time if she were to be convicted.
“While the defendant did not intend that her son Jasani die, the evidence shows that she was aware her fentanyl possession and use was dangerous to human life,” Butts told The Times. “Well known amongst abusers, fentanyl is an exceptionally toxic and dangerous substance. The act of exposing people to or supplying others with fentanyl, if death results, can lead to murder charges.”
And, truth be told, it’s not hard to understand why prosecutors want to punish Barrera-Galdamez. Yes, we know that addictions can heavily cloud people’s judgments. But when there are small children in the home, it is almost unforgivable to expose them to these types of substances. Add to that the fact that young Jasani probably suffered immense pain before his demise.
So, as we said at the top, this is probably one of the worst examples of what addictions can do. Not only putting innocent people in danger, but putting children’s lives at risk. And this goes beyond fentanyl. Pills, cocaine and even alcohol could lead to deadly consequences if left unmanned in a house with toddlers. If you or someone you are close to is battling a dependency and also caring for a young child, we strongly urge you to step in and intervene.