A Pennsylvania father is in police custody facing numerous charges after his 9-month-old daughter was found with a hypodermic needle stuck in her leg.
Emergency responders were summoned July 5 to a house in Manayunk, Pennsylvania, to help 35-year-old Steven Walsh's daughter, who was acting strangely after accidentally rolling over onto the needle, reports WTXF. When paramedics arrived, the girl was unresponsive, although they were able to revive her with Narcan, a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
The girl is recovering in a stable condition in the hospital, while her father was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, endangering the welfare of a child and recklessly endangering another person.
The Department of Human Services has also been notified of the incident.
Walsh reportedly told officials that he placed the girl on the bed, but had forgotten that he'd left two syringes there, notes KYW-TV. One source told WTXF that heroin caused her overdose, although police have not confirmed this.
Investigators are looking to confirm the identity of the substance in the syringe and determine whether or not the needle had been used before, notes WCAU.
"It surprises me that anyone would be that irresponsible but that does not surprise me at all, there are heroin addicts all over the place," neighbor Dennis Desalme told KYW-TV.
Desalme said that, like many towns across the nation, addiction is rampant in the area and tears apart families.
In 2016, more than 900 people died from overdosing on drugs in Philadelphia, a record number.
Philly.com reports that more people than ever are in treatment for opioid addiction, while opioid abuse diagnoses has shot up by almost 400 percent since 2012. Even as people continue to seek help, the crisis is ever growing.
More than a fifth of Pennsylvania residents have used Medicaid obtained through the latest expansion to access treatment for substance abuse.
Those addictions to heroin and opioids often start at the doctor's office, and those who are prescribed doses of 65 milligrams or more of oxycodone per day or 100 or more milligrams of hydrocodone per day were 43 times more likely than those who received lower doses to become hooked, even if the prescription was for a short period of time.
"Clearly, treatment is not keeping up" with need, health economist Lisa Clemans-Cope said, according to Philly.com.