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CHOP Study Finds Poverty As Factor That Determines Future Of Babies Exposed To Cocaine

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Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A remarkable study, conducted by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia physicians, takes a look at the lives of babies born addicted to crack and compares their progress to children from the same socioeconomic background that were not exposed to cocaine.

The study followed these children into adulthood and the findings may surprise you.

“These children were really expected to be helpless. To sit in the corner and shake and really have no future that we would regard as optimistic and that is not what we found,” said Dr. Hallam Hurt, a professor of Pediatrics at the Perleman School of Medicine and Neonatologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Hurt says their study compared children exposed to crack in utero to non-exposed children of the same background, measured their scholastic aptitude and compared it to middle class children.

“What we began to come forth with is the exposure to gestational cocaine was not the issue, it was the fact they were growing up without the enrichment that other children may receive,” she explained.

Hurt says the outcome of the individuals studied really depended on their home environment and not on their gestational cocaine exposure.

She says poverty was the overwhelming factor that predicted the future of the children studied.

She went on saying the study reinforces the resolve of CHOP physicians. She says they will continue to steer parents who need it to the necessary help to optimize their parenting skills.

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