Mother of drug-addicted baby charged
November 13, 2012
A Kamas woman who gave birth to a drug-addicted baby was charged on Saturday in Third District Court with two second-degree felony offenses of child abuse and child endangerment.
Shea Renee Sheeran, 27, admitted to using the controlled drugs Adderall and Clonazepam while keeping her pregnancy a secret from the physician prescribing the drugs, according to court documents.
Sheeran said she hid the pregnancy because she knew taking the prescriptions would harm her baby. She also admitted to using cocaine and heroin early in her pregnancy, according to the documents.
Adderall and Clonazepam have been known to cause serious birth defects in fetuses, such as learning disabilities and deformation.
According to court documents, Sheeran gave birth to a baby boy on Aug. 29 at the Park City Medical Center. Shortly after delivering, Sheeran tested positive for cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamines and opiates. The baby tested positive for amphetamines and opiates.
Within six hours of his birth, the baby began experiencing withdrawal symptoms, including tremors, high-pitched screaming, vomiting and severe diarrhea. He was also hypersensitive to light, sound and touch.
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He was transferred two days later for emergency treatment of Narcotic Abstinence Syndrome by medical helicopter to the Intermountain Medical Center, where he spent the next several weeks in the Neonatal Care Intensive Unit.
A baby is determined to have Narcotic Abstinence Syndrome when he or she is withdrawing from pre-natal exposure to narcotics.
The baby was later released from the hospital into the care of an adoptive family, but his long-term prognosis is uncertain.
According to the court reports, his treating physicians say he may suffer long-term complications from being exposed to controlled substances in utero, including brain damage and learning disabilities.
At the time of the offenses, Sheeran was on parole for two counts of forgery and two counts of illegal possession and use of a controlled substance.