10-month-old found to be under influence of meth

Monday, July 05, 2010

Merced police are dealing with what they're calling a first of its kind case in the city. A couple has been arrested after their 10-month old baby boy was found to be under the influence of methamphetamine.

Police say the baby may have been contaminated by inhaling second hand smoke.

Margarita Reyes of Merced rushed her ten month old baby boy to the Mercy Hospital Emergency Room early Sunday morning.

Merced police say Reyes told the doctors that her baby wouldn't sleep and was irritable.

Sgt. Bob Chapman of the Merced Police Department says, "The mom did admit she was a habitual user of meth and that she had smoked meth in the residence but not in the presence of the child."

Margarita Reyes and the baby's father Ernesto Estrada lived in this small apartment in southwest Merced. Sgt. Chapman says the baby either ingested the meth or inhaled the toxic fumes.

He says the city has had many cases of babies being born with meth in their system but this is the first case where a baby is found to be under the influence after birth.

Dr. Sylvester Bryan, an emergency room doctor at Children's Hospital Central California in Madera, agrees that meth intoxication is rare.

He says, "It's unusual to see a baby getting it just from smoking but we do know that with meth you can get intoxicated from inhalation."

Sgt. Chapman says meth is a huge problem in Merced as it is all over the Central Valley. He says there are more people arrested on meth charges than any other drug.

He hopes this weekend's case is the first and last case of meth intoxication in a baby.

The couple's 10-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son were taken out of the home by child protective services. The 10-month-old baby is doing fine.

All three of the children are now in the care of relatives. Mom and dad are in the Merced County jail.

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