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'Crack baby' study ends with unexpected but clear result

Sykes

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'Crack baby' study ends with unexpected but clear result - Philly.com


As the children grew, the researchers did many evaluations to tease out environmental factors that could be affecting their development. On the upside, they found that children being raised in a nurturing home - measured by such factors as caregiver warmth and affection and language stimulation - were doing better than kids in a less nurturing home. On the downside, they found that 81 percent of the children had seen someone arrested; 74 percent had heard gunshots; 35 percent had seen someone get shot; and 19 percent had seen a dead body outside - and the kids were only 7 years old at the time. Those children who reported a high exposure to violence were likelier to show signs of depression and anxiety and to have lower self-esteem.
More recently, the team did MRI scans on the participants' brains. Some research has suggested that gestational cocaine exposure can affect brain development, especially the dopamine system, which in turn can harm cognitive function. An area of concern is "executive functioning," a set of skills involved in planning, problem-solving, and working memory.
The investigators found one brain area linked to attention skills that differed between exposed and nonexposed children, but they could not find any clinically significant effect on behavioral tests of attention skills.
Drug use did not differ between the exposed and nonexposed participants as young adults. About 42 percent used marijuana and three tested positive for cocaine one time each.
The team has kept tabs on 110 of the 224 children originally in the study. Of the 110, two are dead - one shot in a bar and another in a drive-by shooting - three are in prison, six graduated from college, and six more are on track to graduate. There have been 60 children born to the 110 participants.
The years of tracking kids have led Hurt to a conclusion she didn't see coming.
"Poverty is a more powerful influence on the outcome of inner-city children than gestational exposure to cocaine," Hurt said at her May lecture.


I found this article fascinating. It's not really about the war on drugs, but I didn't know what folder or forum it belonged in, so apologies to mods if it needs to be moved.
 

tererun

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The problem arises that in countries with drug prohibition you cannot separate out the poverty from the drugs. Drug usage leads to problems in society created by society by limiting drug users in the jobs they get, their insertion into the criminal element, and a perpetual system of poverty designed to limit them from becoming productive members of society due to an arbitrary value set by invented moral coding. If drugs were legalized and the stigma removed in lieu of a system of value based on performance it is very possible for drug users to escape poverty. Of course, it is probably beneficial for the less skilled to limit their competition based on arbitrary standards like drug usage.
 

ChunkySalsa

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Clear evidence we need to stop arresting people for using drugs, and start arresting them for being poor. :mrgreen:
 

JRSaindo

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lol, good one
 

Fisher

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If drug users want to escape poverty then they need to 1) not commit crimes to support their habit and 2) not do drugs. Legalizing drugs won't change how society views criminals and addicts.
 

Sykes

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maybe we should be looking at the 'alleviating poverty' angle of the study more than the drug affect?
 

blaxshep

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maybe we should be looking at the 'alleviating poverty' angle of the study more than the drug affect?

Doing that would mean wealth re-distribution and in this country we want our rich people to hoard more wealth then they could possibly spend.
 

Shadow Serious

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If drug users want to escape poverty then they need to 1) not commit crimes to support their habit and 2) not do drugs. Legalizing drugs won't change how society views criminals and addicts.

Well, society should change its view of drug addicts.
 

AliHajiSheik

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Doing that would mean wealth re-distribution and in this country we want our rich people to hoard more wealth then they could possibly spend.

Would that be wealth that is sitting in banks or invested in stocks and bonds or companies that are then reinvesting in things like making products and hiring employees, or do you just want the wealth sitting under mattresses?
 

Sykes

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Doing that would mean wealth re-distribution and in this country we want our rich people to hoard more wealth then they could possibly spend.

Quite right.
 
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