Report: Government Foster Systems Force Deadly Psychiatric Drugs on Thousands of Helpless Children
Thanks to efforts initiated by Senator Thomas Carper (D-Del.), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has conducted an official investigation into the use of psychiatric drugs among children living in the foster care system. The report, released in 2011, reveals that thousands of children are being willfully over medicated by the system, and that there is little or no government oversight about how often, or for what reasons, these deadly drugs are being administered.
ABC News explains that the two-year-long investigation evaluated psychiatric drug use rates in the foster care systems of Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, and Texas. It found that in all these states, foster children are often given extremely high doses of antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and various other psychotropic drugs on a regular basis — and the vast majority of these children do not even have legitimate mental or other health conditions.
These same drugs, which include the dangerous schizophrenia drugs Seroquel (quetiapine) and Risperdal (risperidone), not only lack US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for young children, but they also have never been proven safe or effective. In most cases, foster system workers are simply loading foster children up with these and various other harmful drugs in order to keep them calm, docile, and manageable.
“We are trying to put a nice shiny term that sounds [as if] ‘oh, we’re just restraining the kid,’ [when] really what you are doing is just knocking them out to make them less of a problem for you,” said Dr. George Fouras, a child psychiatrist and co-chairman of the Adoption and Foster Care Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), to ABC News. “There is an incredible push to use medications to solve these problems as if it is a magic wand.”
The GAO report explains that, on average, foster children are 13 times more likely to receive psychiatric drugs than children in the general population. And while only four percent of American children are currently taking psychiatric drugs, up to 50 percent of children in the foster system are taking them, despite the fact that most of them are perfectly normal and healthy.
More than 25 percent of foster children currently take at least one psychiatric drug, which is 500 percent higher than it is among children in the general population. Foster children are also 900 percent more likely than non-foster children to be taking a psychiatric drug that has no FDA-approved dosage for their age.
Be sure to read the full details of the report at: