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Mother charged with manslaughter after child dies from Methadone toxicity

10:02 PM, Jul 13, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A mother has been arrested after her child died from Methadone toxicity due to mixing the child's medication in the same cup that the mother used to take her Methadone, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced Friday.

Jennifer Frazier, 28, has been charged with negligent manslaughter following the June 30 death of her six-month-old daughter Jacey Patterson.

The night before her daughter's death, Frazier had taken her prescribed Methadone between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. About an hour and forty-five minutes later, Frazier told police she gave her daughter ibuprofen and Cefdinir orally with a syringe, according to a JSO report.

Frazier and James Patterson, the child's father, told police that Jacey had a high fever the day before her death.

Frazier had mixed the ibuprofen and Cefdinir in the same cup she used to take her Methadone and had not cleaned the cup in between uses, the report said.

Methadone is never prescribed to children says Dr. Jay Schauben of the Florida Poison Information Center. Children do not have the enzymes to break down the drug. "Very small doses can cause indredibly exagerated effects. Initially the central nervous system will shut down, usually what happens is they stop breathing," said Schauben.

A search of the residence revealed that Frazier's two bottles of Methadone were found in a Cefdinir box, but they are normally kept in a locked box with James Patterson's methadone.

The medical examiner's autopsy results on Jacey Patterson revealed that there was no ibuprofen in her system.

The Department of Children and Families is doing it's own investigation in this case. Spokesman John Harrell says the good news in this case is that Frazier has another child, but that child is with relatives out of state and the child was not in the home when this incident happened.

"We want to emphasize to the entire community that is the responsiblity of parents that they keep any drugs, prescription or illegal drugs, they need to keep those drugs out of the reach of children so a tragedy of this magnitude does not happen."

DCF urges anyone who heeds help with a drug problem to call United Way by calling 211. If anyone sees a child at risk due to drug abuse of a parent or caregiver, call police or DCF. " If you see something, say something," said Harrell.

First Coast News

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