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Cocaine-Exposed Infants: Social, Legal, and Public Health Issues (Drugs, Health, and Social Policy)

by James A. Inciardi, Hilary L. Surratt, Christine A. Saum

Publisher: Sage Publications
Publication Date: Tuesday, April 01, 1997
Number of Pages: 128
ISBN: 0803970870


Book Summary:
Research in the mid-1980s on the effects of prenatal drug abuse characterized cocaine-exposed children as moody, inconsolable, less socially interactive, and less able to bond than other children. "Crack babies," in particular, were believed to be less attentive and less able to focus on specific tasks than nonexposed children. Research concluded that these conditions were irreversible and that no amount of special attention or educational programs could turn these cocaine-exposed infants into well-functioning and adjusted children. Methodological problems in these early studies, combined with the fact that cocaine using mothers abuse other drugs as well, have left the research and public health communities uncertain about the cause and effect relationship between cocaine use and pre- and postnatal consequences. Cocaine-Exposed Infants examines what is known about the problem and unravels some of the contradictions in the extant literature. The authors also explore in-depth the media frenzy over so-called crack babies and the resulting legislation that served to criminalize drug use during pregnancy. For researchers, academics, health care providers, and mental health and legal professionals/practitioners, Cocaine-Exposed Infants provides state-of-the-art information in a field now entering its second generation of research. The book is also an excellent supplementary text for courses in criminal justice, corrections, policing, drug/alcohol studies, psychology, public health, and nursing.


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