Two neglectful drug addict parents are responsible for the tragic overdose death of their three-year-old child. A court recently heard that the young girl ingested some cocaine that was left out by her father, who was a drug dealer. The mother and father both blame each other for the incident.
For legal and privacy reasons, the girl was only identified to the press as K, and it was revealed that the family was from London.
According to the Sun, K was admitted to hospital and it was initially suspected that the child had sepsis or meningitis. However, when the child collapsed and died as a result of a heart attack, a post-mortem discovered that the girl had ingested a lethal dose of cocaine.
The parents have already had their four other children taken away from them by social services. The judge condemned both parents but ruled that the responsibility for the child’s death was ultimately the fault of the father, since he purchased the drugs and brought them into the home. The mother was also negligent, but the father held more responsibility since he procured the drugs, High Court judge Mr Justice Williams ruled.
“It seems most probable that the cocaine that K ingested was present in the mother’s home as a result of father having brought it onto the premises and having processed it in some way in an area which the children would have access to… My conclusion that it was the father’s drug which was carelessly left in the mother’s home and there ingested by K is where responsibility ultimately lies,” the judge said in court.
He also admonished the mother for being well aware that the drugs were in the home, and commented that habitual drug users are often careless.
The Metropolitan Police arrested six people at the time of the child’s death but all of them were eventually released. Investigations are still ongoing and the penalties that those involved could face are still unclear.
According to a drugs trend report from the EU drugs agency, more young adults are using cocaine in Britain than any other European country. The report found that 5.3% of UK citizens between the ages of 15 and 34 used cocaine in 2018, which is the most recent year for which records are available.
Despite tougher laws against the drug, the purity of cocaine on the streets continues to increase. Police have been making more cocaine-related arrests and seizures, but use and purity continue to explode. In 2018, authorities in the EU made over 110,000 cocaine seizures, amounting to 181 tonnes of the drug.
The agency also found that overdoses have increased across Europe, with an estimated 8,300 overdoses in 2018.
These conditions have led many public health experts and former heads of state to suggest removing these drugs from the illegal market and regulating them like other pharmaceuticals.
Legal controls could reduce social and health harms among people who take such drugs and would disrupt organized crime and reduce the violence innate to the criminal market, says a report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which also considers how such regulation might be achieved.