Father charged in toddler overdose

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The father of a 1-year-old boy who ingested prescription medication was arrested and charged with child abuse and child endangerment.

Sandy police say 31-year-old Brandon Newton took the prescription drug suboxone out of the bottle with the intent of taking it himself, but left the pills out and in arms reach of his toddler son.

Suboxone is a powerful opiate based drug often used to help heroin addicts in the rehabilitation process.

Police say the prescription did not belong to Newton.

His 1-year-old son swallowed an unknown amount of the pills.

Police say the boy's parents called 911 yesterday morning to report something was wrong with him. They found the baby not breathing when they responded to the Liberty Heights Apartments at 8176 S. 1300 East in Sandy yesterday afternoon.

Medical personnel were able to aid the child on scene and later at Alta View and Primary Children's Medical Center.

Police say the boy is expected to survive.

As the baby was flown to the hospital, police got a search warrant to go inside the apartment, where they found evidence of legal and illegal drug use.

Sgt. Justin Chapman with the Sandy Police Department said, "We do have some illegal drug paraphernalia, we do have numerous prescription drug medications."

"The prescription medications belong to the person in the home, so they are legal to have," he added.

Sgt. Justin Chapman says police now know he ingested prescription medication. "The prescription itself was legally prescribed to a person in the home. The part where we're still investigating is, how did that particular prescription become available to that young boy," he said.

Salt Lake County Deputy District Attorney Steve Nelson says even a low dose can do irreparable damage. "It can be a very scary, dangerous thing for children. It can be very problematic for a young, developing child," he said.

E-mail: mgiauque@ksl.com

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Marc Giauque


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