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July 23, 1982

The drug victim is too often the same: the fetus

JAMA. 1982;248(4):409-410. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330040009007

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Once again, drug abuse affects more than the user. At the recent meeting of the American Pediatric Society and the Society for Pediatric Research in Washington, DC, Ira J. Chasnoff, MD, reported how "Ts and blues," a drug combination used as a substitute for heroin, affects the infants of drug-using mothers.

During the Iranian crisis, the amount of heroin coming into this country dropped severely and, consequently, the cost of available heroin skyrocketed. As an alternative to the poor-quality heroin originating from Mexico, street people in the Chicago area began to inject a combination solution consisting of crushed tablets of Talwin (pentazocine) and the antihistamine pyribenzamine (tripelennamine), available in the familiar blue tablet form. Chasnoff, of Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, and the Department of Pediatrics at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said that the Ts and blues combination "gives a quick rush and prolongs the high." He added that it is