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Medical News & Perspectives
May 3, 2000

NIDA Seeking Data on Effect of Fetal Exposure to Methamphetamine

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JAMA. 2000;283(17):2225-2226. doi:10.1001/jama.283.17.2225-JMN0503-2-1

Rockville, Md—In recent years, methamphetamine has become a substantial drug of abuse. Along with its increase in popularity comes the likelihood that the drug is being used by pregnant women, with potential damage to the fetus as a result.

Concerned that there may be a "methamphetamine babies" scare looming, similar to the "crack baby" furor of the 1980s, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is looking into what steps it might take to deal with the situation. At the end of March, institute officials called for advice from a group of drug abuse experts who have had research and clinical experience with amphetamines. "We need to get a handle on this fast. Unless we get into this rapidly, we're going to make the same mistake we made with cocaine. I would really like to avoid that," said Alan Leshner, PhD, NIDA's director.

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