Medicine: Crack Comes to the Nursery

More and more cocaine-using mothers are bearing afflicted infants

When reports surfaced in the early 1980s that cocaine use by pregnant women could cause serious physical and mental impairment to their newborns, it was another warning that the snowy white drug was not as harmless as some believed. Doctors found that cocaine, like heroin and alcohol, could be passed from the user-mother to the fetus with disastrous results. Since then the epidemic of cocaine-afflicted babies has only become worse. The main reason: growing numbers of women are using crack, the cheap and readily available purified form of cocaine that plagues America's inner cities and has spread into middle-class suburbs. Says...

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