The backlash against the exaggerations about the dangers of “crack babies” has left a resounding silence about a new generation of drug-exposed infants: “crank babies,” reports the Sacramento Bee. As many as one in 10 babies born at the University of California at Davis Medical Center between 1990 and 2002 had been exposed to methamphetamine – known as crank. Funding for studies on how those babies are faring is skimpy, say researchers who have been loath to generate a buzz that vilifies another generation of mothers.
Without such a buzz – and the resulting funding – county health and social workers worry about how to cope with the crank babies at a particularly crucial moment – just as the former crack babies reach childbearing age. Research has shown drug-exposed babies are more susceptible to drug use as they grow up and to continuing the cycle with their own offspring. “We watched one group march through all of our systems,” said Penelope Clarke of Sacramento’s Countywide Services Agency. “Now we’re seeing them reaching an age when they can have children of their own.” She adds: “The bottom line is we are seeing (drug-exposed) babies having babies and coming through the Child Protective Services system.”