Hit & Run

Crack Reporting

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Every few years, a new drug is the subject of a fresh moral panic, with new reasons to regard the most recently popular recreational chemical as uniquely horrible. The Columbia Journalism Review has a good piece up that explodes the "crack baby" scare of the late '80s, including interviews with several grown "crack babies" who're doing pretty well. Not to say, obviously, that freebasing while pregnant doesn't do any harm to the child—to say nothing of one's mother being regularly strung out—but the distance between the hype at the time and the reality is worth keeping in mind next time you hear about the new Dire Threat to America's Youth.