Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Today's crack babies

In the warm glow of the setting sun, two mothers walk side-by-side from counseling sessions at the Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center, past the stucco day-care building, past rows of shaded picnic tables and a playground full of giggles and pigtails and untied sneakers.

The women — one pushing her 2-month-old daughter in a stroller, the other six months pregnant — came to this addiction treatment center in suburban Broward County in April to beat the prescription drug habits that threaten their lives and endanger their children. Their biggest fear is that their children will pay the price for their weakness. At Susan B. Anthony, the victories are counted in babies born clean and families reunited.

Nicole Montes and Jennifer Clingan grapple with savage addictions to the prescription painkiller oxycodone, a synthetic version of heroin that has emerged as part of the nation’s fast-growing drug problem. The newest victims: babies born hooked on the highly addictive prescription narcotic.

I taught in a public school when all the crack babies hit middle school.

These oxycodone babies will be more of the same.

They will be a drain on the public all their lives, spending their lives in jail or on public assistance.

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