8-Year-Old Girl on Life Support After Being Given Methadone for Stomach Upset

December 18, 2017 Updated: September 26, 2019

An 8-year-old girl is fighting for her life after her mother allegedly gave her methadone to treat her stomach upset.

Police in Arizona say they arrested Serina Amber Hernandez after her little girl was poisoned from a combination of cough medicine and methadone.

When her daughter complained of stomach and back pain on Saturday, Hernandez allegedly gave her half a teaspoon of children’s cough medicine.

She then added a half-filled water bottle cap of methadone, according to court documents.

In her statement to police, Hernandez says she checked on the girl at 11 a.m. after which the girl slept all day Sunday and didn’t eat or drink.

Hernandez next checked on her around 1 a.m. and saw she was blue, not breathing, and foaming at the mouth.

Hernandez admitted to Phoenix Fire Department, which was first to respond, that she had given her daughter methadone. Medical analysis later confirmed that she tested positive for the drug.

The girl was rushed to Phoenix Children’s Hospital where she is now on life support and unable to breathe on her own.

In her statement, Hernandez admits that she understood not to give an 8-year-old methadone after being told by her doctor.

Hernandez faces one count of child abuse.

Methadone is an opiate prescribed by doctors as a substitute for heroin. It is often used as a pain reliever, but it is also addictive and can cause death if used by a person or child who it hasn’t been prescribed for.

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