Authorities arrested a babysitter Monday after finding her unconscious on the floor of a kitchen from a heroin overdose while she was looking after two infants.
Kristen Morley, 28, was babysitting Monday for parents in Mount Pleasant, S.C. She was using heroin while watching the two young children. At some point Morley overdosed in the kitchen and was subsequently transported to the hospital where she later recovered. The two infants entrusted to Morley’s care were unharmed, according to WCBD.
Police are charging Morley with possession of drug paraphernalia, but are considering adding additional charges. Heroin abuse is ravaging South Carolina, which suffers higher overdose death rates than the majority of the country. Much of the state’s heroin addiction starts with dependence on opioid painkillers.
“You take it a few times and before you know it, you want it over, and over, and over,” Lisa Mitchell, co-chair of Wake Up: Carolina, told WCBD. “And when the opioids are hard to get on the streets, or they get too expensive, heroin is the next best thing.”
South Carolina experienced the largest increase of any state in the heroin death rate, which spiked 57 percent between 2014 and 2015. The overdose death rate in Charleston County is 50 percent higher than the national average.
Due to the pervasiveness of the opioid epidemic in states across the country, children are increasingly at risk of being exposed to fatal doses of prescription pills and heroin. A recent study found roughly 70 percent of parents prescribed pain medications like Oxycontin, Vicidone and Percocet are not taking responsible precautions to keep the pills away from their children, risking accidental overdose and death.
Police recently arrested a mother in New York City after she accidentally packed her personal stash of heroin into her six-year-old son’s book bag before sending him off to school. The boy showed school officials the box of heroin and was unharmed by the incident.
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