Americus toddler tests positive for more drugs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Americus toddler tests positive for more drugs

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October 4, 2007

Americus-  In a story that continues to shock, a two year old Americus girl, shown on video being given marijuana by her parents, has tested positive for cocaine, too.

The girl's parents 23 year old Tomeka Danielle West and 27 year old Mendrell Minnis may now face additional charges.

West and Minnis are charged with child cruelty and marijuana possession for the incident where police say, they held a joint to their two year old daughter's mouth. The incident was captured on video on a cell phone and forwarded to family and friends who passed it on to police. Doctors say while this is a rare incident it could affect the toddlers memory.

"Cocaine certainly will affect your learning processes and we've had some children in our practice who were influenced by cocaine that the mother used while she was pregnant.  This is a concern too with teenagers and young 20 something who use cocaine and marijuana regularly while they are pregnant, will it affect the baby?  The answer is, quite likely," said Dr. Bruce Smith, South Georgia Pediatrics.

Smith says, the effects on the child are hard to predict, because there are so few cases of a two year old with this type of exposure to drugs. Smith also said the use of cocaine during pregnancy increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

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