11-week-old son tests positive for meth, mother arrested
By WRCB Staff
HIXSON, TN (WRCB) -
A Chattanooga woman has been charged with child abuse and neglect after Chattanooga police say she was injecting drugs with her 11-week-old son nearby, and the infant tested positive for meth.
The arrest report said Angela Bivens, 34, and another woman were found shooting up in a restroom stall at WalMart on Highway 153 in June. She was arrested Tuesday.
WalMart staff said the women would not come out of the stall, so they called police. When police forced their way into the stall they found blood spray on a toilet lid in the handicapped stall and several used needles in a trash can in the restroom. The arresting officer also saw visible track marks on Bivens' arm. Bivens had her 11-week-old infant son inside the stall with her.
The Department of Children's Services was called and took the child to Erlanger for a medical evaluation. Because of the child's exposure to drugs, they took a hair sample and tested the child for drugs.
Results of the drug test showed the infant had "high levels" of methamphetamine and amphetamine in his blood.
Channel 3 asked a treatment counselor what this drug exposure means for the young child. Counselor Beth Davis said she knows from personal experience.
"I was addicted to meth, IV use, and I just kept spiraling and spiraling down and there was months at a time when I wouldn't even see my children," Davis said.
Davis is a counselor at Teen Challenge of the Mid-South and fought her own battle with addiction.
She has now been sober for seven years and said many of the long lasting effects she sees on her children are not physical but emotional.
"He will not say "I love you," he will not let me hug him, if I say I love you, he says fine, or talk to you later," Davis said of her son, "And I know it was because I wasn't there. I wasn't there to bond with him. I wasn't there to do things like I should have been. I was just in and out of his life whenever it was convenient to me and that affected him greatly."
Davis sympathizes with Angela Bivens but said it will be a long road to recovery, if she chooses it.
"It's not the end for her, she has a future, and for people to treat her as such and not to look down on her because guaranteed that's not where she wants to be," Davis said.
The Department of Children's Services confirms they are involved in this case but said they can not tell us if the child is still in their custody citing confidentiality laws.
Bivens is now charged with child abuse/neglect and has a lengthy criminal history dating back to the early 2000's. She entered the Hamilton County Drug Court program in May, 2010, and graduated in August, 2011.