A New Hampshire mother is facing reckless conduct charges for reportedly demanding that a friend inject her with heroin and meth while she was giving birth.
Police from Concord, New Hampshire, said 37-year-old Rhianna Frenette injected 29-year-old Felicia Farruggia with a dirty syringe on Sept. 15, 2016, while Farruggia was in labor, reports The Boston Globe. Farruggia then reportedly ended up giving birth to a baby boy in her driveway while emergency responders were trying to get her into the ambulance.
Farruggia was reportedly having medical problems while in labor but did not allow anyone at the house to call 911 until after somebody had administered the drugs. Eventually, Frenette responded to her request, making at least one unsuccessful attempt to inject her with the unclean syringe before administering it, police said.
Moments later, the ambulance arrived.
Farruggia and her baby were taken to the hospital immediately, and the infant was taken into state custody, said police.
"That's probably the best place he could be," said Concord Police Lt. Sean Ford.
Ford said police believe the mother is a heroin user and has other children who were already in state custody before the alleged occurrence. He said that the incident is yet another "appalling" manifestation of New Hampshire's drug epidemic.
"It just seems to be getting worse," said Ford. "Every time you think it can't, it does."
The report was not released publicly until March 2017, as investigators were stalled waiting for toxicology reports and cooperation from witnesses, notes WBZ-TV. This also delayed charges being filed against Frenette and Farruggia.
Frenette told authorities, "I'm a people pleaser," when asked why she injected her pregnant friend with drugs, according to WBZ-TV.
Both women were in court on March 8. Farruggia was held pending $15,000 cash bail, and Frenette was held pending $25,000. Both face charges of felony reckless conduct, and Frenette also faces an additional misdemeanor count under the same charge, notes The Associated Press.
New Hampshire has one of the highest per capita addiction rates in the U.S., notes NBC News. Despite this, the state has the second to lowest treatment program availability in the nation, as of a 2014 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report.
"There's a stigma out there for users," said Diane St. Onge, director of the Manchester Comprehensive Health Center, which provides methadone treatment for heroin addiction, according to NBC News. "We need more treatment options. People's lives are at stake."