Utah parents admit to giving newborn narcotics to cover up drug dependency

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Officials said the parents gave the baby the medication just hours after Christenson gave birth in April, because she had used heroin and pain medication heavily during her pregnancy.

"Newborn safety is a top priority for Utah Valley Hospital".

Employees said he took items from the shelf and "returned" them for a cash refund at the customer service desk. In an attempt to escape, the Utah man slammed into the sliding doors and dropped his infant daughter. He dropped his daughter a second time after he ran into another door.

Christenson is seen pregnant with one of her older children in 2012. Christenson was inside the Walmart with their two sons and a third from a previous marriage when police arrested Wilde. The father didn't want to separate the boy from his siblings, so he took the other children into his custody as well.

The child tested positive for methamphetamine, heroin and morphine, the Utah County Sheriff's department revealed in a statement.

Detectives also learned that while Christenson was still in the hospital after giving birth, she and Wilde crushed up Suboxone - a prescription pain medication used for pain management and for addiction treatment - and rubbed it on the newborn's gums in an effort to hide signs of drug addiction from hospital staffers, according to Cannon. The parents tested positive for opioids and methamphetamines, and police charged them with new counts, including distribution of a controlled substance in a drug-free zone, endangerment of a child, possession and use of heroin and methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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Babies are being born suffering from drug addiction withdrawals at a historic pace, increasing five-fold across the US between 2003 and 2012. They also found Suboxone pills.

Christenson and Wilde faced more charges after police were contacted by a woman on June 28 who reported allegedly finding drug paraphernalia around their home, which detectives said they confirmed after a search of the residence. When a mother does not disclose a history of drug use and her baby has no signs or symptoms of difficulty, then the hospital proceeds with its established care processes.

"Bedrooms, family room bathrooms, there was a substantial quantity of drug paraphernalia in those areas; all areas where those children would have immediate access to those items", said Sgt. Spencer Cannon, Utah County Sheriff Department. As for Wilde and Christenson, they are sitting in jail.

Deputies found drugs and paraphernalia throughout the home, including next to a bassinet and a child's sippy cup.

Besides the newborn, Christenson's other three children, ages 8, 4 and 2, lived in the house with the couple, the Sheriff's Office said. As part of this case investigators developed information that Wilde and Christenson were using drugs again and they obtained another search warrant for the house in Elk Ridge. Both are being held on bond amounts of $10,000 cash-only each. "They're addicts right now with serious addiction problems and they're not in a good place to be taking care of themselves even, let alone anybody else".

Confessing to their crime, the couple said they tried hiding the two-month-old baby's drug addiction from the nurses in the hospital where she was born.

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