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The most innocent victims of crack cocaine are babies born to mothers who use the drug during pregnancy. The March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health, reports that use of cocaine in either powdered or crack form during pregnancy can affect a woman and her unborn baby in many ways. During the early months of pregnancy, it may increase the risk of miscarriage. It also may cause an unborn baby to have a stroke, permanent brain damage or heart attack.

The National Institute for Drug Abuse reports that exposure to crack cocaine during pregnancy may lead to significant later problems in some children.

“I was introduced to smoking crack cocaine, and that is when everything stopped functioning. I was out with some people who at that time I considered real close friends. You know, it is true what they say about crack: when you take that first hit, that high you will never get again....It ruined me completely. It took total control over me.

“Crack cocaine has ruined my reputation, my self-worth and my self-respect.” —Diane