The disease of addiction affects everyone that is involved with the person or people using drugs/alcohol. When parents are deep into addiction they get careless and their diseased state of mind has no regard for their children. More often then not, the bottom for parents is devastating and their children suffer the most.
Helping someone who has children to overcome their addiction is a gift that keeps on giving. Read this story I found in the “Washing Post.” It is devastating that 4 adults would leave heroin in reach of a 5 month old baby; or even worse intentionally give a baby heroin. Unfortunately this story is common and until us as family members, friends or concerned people come together and fight the disease of addiction; this type of neglect and abuse will continue.
If you know someone who is putting their child at risk, we can help. When people are loaded with children in the house, fatal accidents are prone to happen and abuse is at its peak. This reality can be prevented by taking the first step to help them become the parents they are suppose to be. An intervention can save the life of a baby or young child; an intervention can put a family back together.
www.intervention911.com / 866-888-4911
Va. parents charged with allowing baby to overdose on heroin
By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, November 4, 2009
A Fairfax County couple has been arrested on charges of allowing its 5-month-old son to overdose on heroin. The baby recovered and was placed with other family members, Fairfax police said.
Police say they think that the baby, who was not mobile, was lying on the floor of his parents' rented townhouse as they and two friends were shooting heroin and that the baby "picked up a packet of heroin and put it in his mouth," Fairfax Officer Bud Walker said.
Court records indicate that the parents paid their babysitter in heroin.
The parents were arrested Thursday afternoon at their home on Loving Forest Court in the Newington Forest neighborhood of Springfield. The baby's mother, Marilyn Fischl, 36, was charged with felony child abuse and neglect. His father, Rafael Preston, 30, faces identical charges. Fischl was also charged with drug possession and unauthorized distribution of drug paraphernalia, and she was held in the Fairfax jail until Saturday, when she posted $10,000 bond. Preston posted bond and was released Thursday, according to jail records.
Fischl and Preston did not answer the door or respond to a message left at their residence Tuesday.
Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh said he could not comment on a pending case, but he noted, "It's always disturbing to think that people would use narcotics in the presence of a child of any age."
On July 14, Walker said, Fischl and Preston took the baby to the emergency room at Inova Fairfax Hospital. Hospital staff members became "suspicious as to why the baby was suffering" and contacted the county's Child Protective Services division, Walker said.
Social workers "took possession of the baby that day," Walker said. It is unclear how long the baby needed to be hospitalized. Fischl has at least two other young children who are also no longer in her care, Walker said.
The Fairfax police child abuse squad was not contacted until late July, Walker said, when toxicology reports were completed. Those found that the baby had tested positive for heroin. A search warrant affidavit written by Detective Darrin DeCoster said that Child Protective Services reported the case to police because the baby "was not mobile yet" and that child services suspected that "someone either intentionally gave the child a drug or he was accidentally poisoned."
DeCoster learned that in addition to Fischl and Preston, their friends Erin Flynn, 32, and Patrick Hall, 41, were at the townhouse July 14. Hall apparently had served as the infant's babysitter that day, DeCoster wrote, and Fischl "distributed heroin as payment for babysitting the victim in this case."
All four adults "consumed heroin in close proximity to the victim and recklessly left heroin and paraphernalia within reach of the child," DeCoster's affidavit says. "The child was able to wiggle around enough to get a hold of the heroin and subsequently ingested it. The result was that the child overdosed on heroin and nearly died."
Flynn and Hall were charged with felony child abuse and neglect. Walker said they were "long-term guests" in the townhouse. All four suspects allegedly admitted to being addicted to heroin and other drugs, DeCoster wrote.
Police obtained a search warrant for the townhouse three months after getting the case because all children had been removed from Fischl's custody by July 14, Walker said. "From our perspective, there was no rush," Walker said. Court records show the police seized a digital scale and a spoon.
Fischl has a long list of arrests, including prostitution charges in Fairfax and Prince William counties last year. In Fairfax, the charge was dismissed. In Prince William, Fischl was arrested in October 2008 at a Woodbridge hotel as part of an investigation to find children who are victims of prostitution and get them into protective custody, according to the Manassas Journal Messenger. But no children were found during the operation.
Court records show that Fischl was convicted in Prince William district court, appealed the case to circuit court and was found not guilty June 18, less than a month before her baby overdosed.
Fischl also has been convicted in Fairfax of forging prescriptions and failing to have a child properly secured with a seat belt.
Preston was convicted of robbery in Prince William in 1996 and arrested in 2002 on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and selling marijuana. The firearm charge was dismissed, and the drug charge was reduced to a misdemeanor.
Neighbors said they were stunned as police swarmed the townhouse Thursday afternoon and shocked by the overdose allegation. Fischl and Preston have lived in the townhouse since July, their landlord Mark Callan said.