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CRACK USE IN NEW YORK TAPERS OFF

Key indicators of crack cocaine use in New York City showed rare declines as the number of cocaine deaths fell from 453 in 1988 to 321 last year and the number of emergency room episodes involving the drug dipped from a peak of 7,674 in 1988 to 6,382 last year, state officials said Tuesday.

But officials are particularly concerned about the number of babies born to cocaine users -- 628 such births in 1985 rose to 3,151 in 1989. Some indicators of heroin activity showed declines in 1989 after many years of increases, but arrests for heroin continued to increase in 1989 and the purity of heroin remained high, the report said.

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