crack rocks

Episode 6: Speed Up, Slow Down Pt. 2 — Myth Evolution: From Crack Kids to Addicted Babies

In the ’80s, a rampant fear of “crack babies” permeated the mainstream media. But the claims of kids deformed due to crack cocaine turned out to be bullshit. Troy Farah reports on how this urban legend originated, and how it’s morphed into another false narrative: the addicted baby myth. Plus, we examine why pregnant drug users face so much greater stigma than others. We speak with Dr. Carl Hart, a neuroscientist and the Chair of the Department of Psychology at Columbia University, as well as Cherisse Scott, founder of Sister Reach, which fights for reproductive justice.

More info:
Dr. Carl Hart
Cherisse Scott

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If you liked this episode, here are others you might enjoy:
Episode 38: Dead People Don’t Recover — The Importance of Safe Supply with Mark Tyndall
Episode 33: Party and Play—An Intro to Chemsex with David Stuart
Episode 20: The Pitfalls of Mainstream Harm Reduction with Eliza Wheeler

Producers: Christopher Moraff, Troy Farah, Zachary Siegel
Music: Glass Boy
Intro voice: Jenny Schaye
Photo credit: PXHere, edit by Troy Farah

Media clips:
Partnership for a Drug-Free America “Baby Bottle” (1992, USA)
Crack Babies: A Tale From the Drug Wars | Retro Report | The New York Times
Presidential Debate 1992 #1
Born Addicted: 1 2 3 4 5

More resources:
Substance use during pregnancy: time for policy to catch up with research

Substance use during pregnancy: time for policy to catch up with research

Criminal Charges for Child Harm from Substance Use in Pregnancy

Open Letter to Journalists and Editors About “Addicted Babies”

Shattering The Myth Of The ‘Addicted Baby’

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