Police: Mom says she fed kids PCP after mistaking it for vanilla extract

Credit: Bill Holsinger-Robinson/Flickr Creative Commons

Credit: Bill Holsinger-Robinson/Flickr Creative Commons

Police in Kansas are investigating a woman who says she accidentally fed her children PCP after mistaking it for vanilla extract.

Fox4 in Kansas City reported that the woman told police investigators she made French toast Tuesday morning for the children. The kids became ill after eating breakfast, detectives said.

The mother and all three children -- a 16-year-old and two children under a year old -- had to be hospitalized, but are in stable condition, the news station reported. The woman told investigators that a family member's ex-boyfriend used to live at the home and that the PCP may have come from him.

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Investigators told Fox4 that PCP users often put the drug in vanilla extract bottles because of the dark color of the bottles.

According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, PCP, or phencyclidine, was developed in the 1950s as an IV painkiller, but its use was halted when it was determined that it could make patients agitated, irrational and delusional. Those who abuse the drug today do so for its mind-altering properties, including hallucinations.

A bitter, white powder, PCP is easily dissolved in water or alcohol, the agency's website said. The powder can be snorted or ingested and in liquid form, some users dip tobacco or marijuana cigarettes in it.

Dr. Tama Sawyer, managing director of the University of Kansas Medical Center's Poison Control Center, told Fox4 that the family in Kansas City is lucky. Not only can PCP make a person very violent, but overdoses can be deadly.

Sawyer said she has never seen a report of a child under the age of 1 having ingested the drug.

"In severe overdoses, it can actually lead to coma and death, and it tends to shut down body organs," Sawyer told the news station.

Detectives continue to investigate the case to determine if the poisoning was accidental.

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