Posts Tagged ‘cocaine’


Drug Addiction Affects Women of all Ages and Backgrounds – Even “Marcia Brady”

October 17, 2008

Maureen McCormick will always be known as Marcia Brady to us. In actuality, the beautiful, fun-loving character that every girl wanted to be like was struggling with some serious issues that would lead to drug addiction, bulimia, depression, paranoia, two abortions and a whole host of other problems. At 52 years old, Maureen is talking about her struggles and how she’s dealing with it all. Her tell-all book, Here’s the Story, was released this week.

In her book, McCormick talks about her addiction to cocaine and how it even led her to use sex to get drugs. Like most addicted women, McCormick had co-occurring mental health issues. In a Today Show interview with Meredith Viera, she talks about her grandmother dying of syphilis while in a mental institution and her grandfather committing suicide the next week. Her mother also had syphilis, and her father cheated on her mother. McCormick grew up thinking she had syphilis, even though she did not, and that she would end up in an institution.

It’s funny to hear the media talk about Maureen McCormick’s story as if she still is Marcia Brady. Who would believe that Marcia Brady would trade sex for cocaine? But it was the character of Marcia Brady that made it so hard for McCormick to live up to. Today, McCormick says she is surprised that she’s still alive, but she has made peace with Marcia Brady. She also says that you have to ask for help to get better. Her story shows that it doesn’t matter how old you are, how privileged you are or how perfect your life may seem, addiction has no boundaries.

See the full interview with Maureen McCormick on Today or read the transcript

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Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol, Drugs and Tobbaco Affects Brain Into Adolescence

April 9, 2008

Researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston and Boston Medical Center have found that the effects of fetal exposure to alcohol, drugs and tobacco persist into early adolescence.

The study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans to the effects on brain structure into early adolescence. Participants of the study included 35 young adolescents, with an average age of 12, prenatally exposed to cocaine, marijuana, alcohol or tobacco. Children with fetal alcohol syndrome were excluded from the study.

“We found that reductions in cortical gray matter and total brain volumes were associated with prenatal exposure to cocaine, alcohol or cigarettes,” says Michael Rivkin, MD, first author on the study. “Importantly, although volume reductions were associated with each of these three prenatal exposures, they were not associated with any one of these substances alone after controlling for other exposures.” The more substances a child was exposed to in utero, the greater the reduction in brain volume.

More than 1 million babies born annually in the US have been exposed to drugs, alcohol or tobacco in utero, making the findings of this study significant. The researchers say that health care providers should offer pregnant women comprehensive care to help them reduce the use of all chemical substances that affect the brain.

The findings of this study were published in the April issue of Pediatrics.

Read More
From Children’s Hospital Boston: Your baby’s brain on drugs (and alcohol and tobacco)

From Pediatrics: Volumetric MRI Study of Brain in Children With Intrauterine Exposure to Cocaine, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Marijuana

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