Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

If I'd Given My Children a Spoonful of This Drug They Could Have Died by Bedtime; MUM GIVEN METHADONE BY MISTAKE

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

If I'd Given My Children a Spoonful of This Drug They Could Have Died by Bedtime; MUM GIVEN METHADONE BY MISTAKE

Article excerpt

Byline: By JOANNE BUTCHER

HEROIN substitute methadone was wrongly given to a mum in a shocking pharmacy blunder.

Lianne Burgess was collecting a painkiller prescription for her children when she was give the potentially fatal medication in error.

It was only when she checked the label before spooning it out to children Ryan, five, Mia, three, and two-year-old James she discovered the horrifying mistake.

Ms Burgess, 25, of Knott Place, Scotswood, Newcastle, had been given a prescription for liquid paracetamol and ibuprofen by her doctor to treat her children who were all running a temperature.

She popped to the pharmacist to get the medicine - but when she got home was shocked to find two 100ml bottles of methadone.

Methadone, usually given to addicts to help wean them off heroin, is a powerful prescription drug made as a substitute for opium.

Lianne, who lives with partner James Briggs, 27, said: "I had rushed out to the pharmacy to get the painkillers so that I could give them a spoonful straight away and another before they went to bed, because they were burning up.

"When I came in I told my partner to give them the medicine.

"He opened up the bag and was surprised there were six bottles - I had told him there should only be four.

"It was only because of that we checked the bottles closely."

Lianne, whose eldest son Connor, eight, was also in the house, is haunted by the thought of what could have happened.

"If we hadn't read the bottle, we could have ended up giving the children the methadone by mistake.

"I wouldn't have known what it looked like when we poured it out - I've never seen methadone before in my life.

"I keep thinking about it. If I had given my children a spoonful they could have been dead by bedtime."

In shock, Lianne went straight back to the pharmacy - Chambers Chemist on Armstrong Road, Scotswood - with the drugs. …

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