Grade 5 boy among victims of opioid crisis
MIAMI — Prosecutors believe a 10year-old boy who died at his home in a drug-ridden Miami neighbourhood has become one of Florida’s littlest victims of the opioid crisis. But it’s unclear how he came in contact with fentanyl — a drug so potent that even accidental exposure can be devastating.
Preliminary toxicology tests show Alton Banks had fentanyl in his system when he collapsed and died at his home on June 23, The Miami Herald reported. The fifthgrader started vomiting after coming home from the neighbourhood pool. He was found unconscious that evening and taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators said there is no evidence he came into contact with the drug at home. They think he may have been exposed to it at the pool or on his walk home in Miami’s poor, high-crime Overtown neighbourhood, which Assistant Miami Fire Chief Pete Gomez said has seen a spike in overdoses in the past year and where needles sometimes litter the streets
“There is an epidemic,” Gomez said. “Overtown seems to have the highest percentage of where these incidents are occurring.”
Detectives are still trying to piece together the boy’s final day. The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Officer is doing additional testing, and a final report has yet to be released. The boy’s mother, Shantell Banks, said her son was a “fun kid” who loved the NFL’s Panthers.