A 32-year-old woman has been arrested after she and her newborn child tested positive for illegal drugs.
Vanessa Michelle Wright, of Wessex Drive in Wedgefield, faces a charge of unlawful neglect of a child, according to information provided by …
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Vanessa Michelle Wright, of Wessex Drive in Wedgefield, faces a charge of unlawful neglect of a child, according to information provided by Ken Bell, public information officer for the Sumter County Sheriff's Office. An Aug. 1 warrant alleges Wright and her child both tested positive for amphetamines and opiates while still at Palmetto Health Tuomey.
Wright was arrested on Nov. 1 after the test was completed on July 21.
Three mothers were arrested in April and May for similar charges after giving birth at Tuomey. An 18-year-old mother was arrested in April after she and her newborn son tested positive for marijuana in October 2017, and two women in their 20s were charged for testing positive with their infants for amphetamine, opiates and methadone.
Carol Alan, a board-certified OB/Gyn at Carolina Women's Specialists, a division of Tandem Health (formerly Sumter Family Health Center), said research is limited on the effects of marijuana and methamphetamine on pregnancy but that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends against the use of any illegal substance, tobacco and alcohol while pregnant.
"Women who use methamphetamine frequently use tobacco, alcohol or other drugs, which can also cause poor birth outcomes," Alan said. "However, methamphetamine use is consistently associated with poor fetal growth and may also be associated with neonatal and childhood neurodevelopmental abnormalities."
Alan said marijuana is the third-most commonly used substance during pregnancy after cigarettes and alcohol and, while research is still limited on the potential harms of its use while pregnant, some studies suggest risks including abnormal fetal brain development, poor fetal growth and low birth weight, increased risk of still birth and increased risk of preterm birth. It is not known if the increased risk of still birth is only because of marijuana use or due to the use of other substances, such as cigarettes. An increased risk of preterm birth is especially connected with both marijuana and cigarettes.
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