In this hysterical USA Today piece about infants born addicted to prescription painkillers, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says, “I’m scared to death this will become the crack-baby epidemic.”
I agree. I hope this doesn’t turn into an excuse to pass a bunch of dumb laws that will restrict personal freedom and impose draconian sentences on people who commit nonviolent offenses, all in response to a hyped-up, non-existent problem drummed up by the media and drug warriors. The “Oxy baby” narrative has the added potential to further chill the treatment of chronic pain.
It may well be that this is a huge and growing problem. But I don’t find the USA Today piece all that convincing. In 2009, the New York Times looked at recent studies of what has happened to “crack babies.” Turns out, the consensus seems to be that the biggest hurdle they’ve had to overcome is the fact that they’ve been called “crack babies” all their lives.