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Summary Children of drug-addicted mothers are at an increased risk of premature birth, neonatal complications, developmental delay, understimulation, deprivation, neglect, abuse and even premature death. Research results from four Danish centres are presented and discussed. The material covers the period from 1970–1983. The studies clearly show a need for more coordinated support and services for these families and their children in order to prevent a new generation of ‘social losers’.