Maine child’s overdose prompts discussion on barriers to recovery for mothers

A 3-year-old from Brownfield is expected to recover after ingesting her mother’s heroin while left unattended.
(Associated Press)
Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 11:03 AM EST
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BROWNFIELD, Maine (WMTW) - A 3-year-old girl is expected to recover after ingesting her mother’s heroin while left unattended.

Josselyn Henry, 29, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of scheduled drugs.

Deputies from the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office were called to their apartment on Main Street in Brownfield for a report of an overdose.

A corrections officer with the Oxford County Jail says Henry was released from the facility on bail Monday night.

Experts in recovery from substance disorders, as well as harm reduction advocates, are discussing what can be learned from the incident to prevent similar situations in the future.

“We need caring, loving people. Not hateful judgement. You know, we are all hurting,” said Jim Rodimon.

The North Yarmouth man lost his son Maxwell to an overdose in 2018.

Rodimon says he was in “anguish” after learning of the Brownfield child’s overdose.

“Please be careful and ask me if you need Narcan at your house, I will pick it up and drop it off. I can get you hooked up for saving your child or yourself. Please reach out,” he posted on Twitter.

“If you’re afraid to get it from somebody, I will do the leg work,” said Rodimon, who regularly distributes the overdose reversal drug to people in Portland.

Services are available in Maine for parents with young children struggling with addiction such as the Maine Maternal Opioid Misuse program, which was created in July.

“Oftentimes, and this still remains true to this day, women lack safe places to leave their children with while prioritizing their recovery,” said Dr. Mary Anne Roy, Crossroads chief clinical officer. Also offering help to mothers is Crossroads which serves women with children seeking substance use treatment.

“Our program is unique in the sense that women are able to come to treatment and bring children,” said Dr. Roy added.

Rodimon believes expanding services and offering support without stigma will save lives.

“We should have a way to help these people. To me it just tears at my heart,” Rodimon said.

Crossroads says they do have the capacity to coordinate support for other women seeking treatment.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, you can call 211 to get connected with help.

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