The myth of crack babies


Back in the late 80’s, as the crack cocaine epidemic took hold in urban areas around the country including Philadelphia, there were bold predictions circulating about the future of babies born to addicted mothers. There were concerns that these babies would be part of a “lost generation” as children with learning and emotional deficits whose challenges would be a drain on society. In 1989, in response to such theories, neonatologist HALLAM HURT began following 224 full-term babies who were exposed to crack cocaine in utero. In this hour of Radio Times, after 23 years of study, we’ll talk with Dr. Hurt about her findings that there are no real differences between full-term babies who were born to moms who were addicted to crack cocaine and those who were not. We’re also joined by former Philadelphia Inquirer writer SUSAN FITZGERALD who has been writing about Dr. Hallam’s study since its beginnings and JAIMEE DRAKEWOOD who has been enrolled in the study since birth.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal