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2-year-old recovering after ingesting fentanyl pill at Washington park

The mother told authorities she saw her child put something in his mouth and then he started acting lethargic.

TACOMA, Wash. — A 2-year-old boy is recovering after finding and ingesting a fentanyl pill at a park in Tacoma Thursday afternoon.

A spokesperson for the Tacoma Police Department said the child and his mom were at Oakland Madrona Park around 1 p.m. Thursday when the mom saw the boy put something in his mouth. The mother told authorities her son started acting lethargic and realized something was wrong.

The boy's mother took what was remaining of the pill from the child’s mouth and called 911. Tacoma police said a responding officer determined the item was a fentanyl pill.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is found in varying degrees in illegal drugs, including opioids disguised as prescription painkillers.

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The Tacoma Fire Department administered Narcan and performed CPR to stabilize the boy, who was then taken to the hospital. Tacoma police tweeted the boy was in stable condition Friday morning. 

Metro Parks Tacoma was alerted of the incident.

A survey from the University of Washington’s Addictions, Drugs and Alcohol Institute revealed a stark increase in the intentional use of the deadly opioid fentanyl across the state.

Fentanyl, which took over from methamphetamine in 2020 as the drug most associated with overdoses in Washington state, is being linked to the increase in crime across the Puget Sound region.

That trend has resulted in Seattle police seizing nearly 650,000 fentanyl-based pills in 2021. Officers seized 63,000 fentanyl pills in 2020 and less than 200 in 2018.

Now, a proposal to declare fentanyl a public health crisis in King County is nearing full approval.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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