FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - A mom in Florence is behind bars after giving birth to a child who tested positive for narcotics.
Amanda Fuller is charged with chemical endangerment of a child. According to Florence police, Fuller's baby tested positive for both methamphetamine and marijuana. Her infant was then taken to Huntsville hospital for further treatment while she went to jail.
Police say Fuller also gave officers a false address in Florence. Her last known residence is in Sanford, North Carolina.
She remains in the Lauderdale County Detention Center on a $5,000 bond.
Shoals law enforcement officials said they're seeing this type of crime more and more. Florence police said the number of calls related to this is up by roughly 40 percent over the last six months,
Police get informed about mothers' addictions by the drug task force or the Department of Human Services.
Colbert County Assistant District Attorney Angela Hulsey said in the last five years she's had an uptick in cases regarding mothers charged with chemical endangerment of a child. She thinks the increase is in part because of the awareness law enforcement now has of the charge since this law has only been in the books since 2006.
Hulsey also said it's because of the fact that more woman are just not getting off the drugs during pregnancies.
"It's a terrible situation to see because you have multiple interests that are competing interests that you have to balance out and work with these cases," Hulsey said. "Obviously, you want to do what you can to make sure the child is protected and justice is served, but you also want to see some treatment for the mother as well."
Hulsey said it's not just one particular narcotic mothers are addicted to. It's all kinds. She also said its unclear just how much of an affect the drug will have on the child's life when it's first born, especially not knowing how long the baby has been dependent on a certain drug.
"What's really scary is once these babies are born and test positive for certain drugs, it's hard to say at that point how much of an impact it's going to have on that child because that's going to depend on the drug and how much of the drug the child was exposed to," Hulsey said. "So they could have longer lasting affects than we would even be aware of at the beginning when they first test positive."
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