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Further Evidence Emerges That Cocaine-Exposed Infants Not Seriously Harmed


March 1993

Eight years after the advent of crack cocaine in New York and other major cities, large numbers of children exposed to the drug in utero are entering the nation's school systems, and few appear seriously harmed, according to a recent front-page story in the New York Times (Joseph Treaster, "For Children of Cocaine, Fresh Reasons for Hope," New York Times, 2/16/93, A1).

Even where drug-exposed children are showing more serious consequences, estimated at up to a third in the Times story, it is unclear to what degree a multiplicity of other factors, including poor nutrition, chaotic environment, and poly-substance abuse have contributed to their condition.

[The decision by the Times to run the story on the front page appears to be a tacit effort to balance the debate on the impact of the mother's drug use on the fetus. Research in the area has burgeoned, and more refined, and more definitive studies are expected. -- R.B.K.]