Awareness and Changes in Overmedicating Children in the Foster Care System.

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Children in the foster care system are being prescribed psychotropic medications at doses higher than the maximum levels approved by the FDA. In some instances 5 or more psychiatric drugs are being given to a single child despite no evidence supporting the safety using these drugs simultaneously. According to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights “Some U.S. states report that more than 60% of foster children are prescribed mood altering drugs which is 300% above the national average." How is this going unnoticed and continues to be supported by doctors and politicians? This petition is to raise awareness and changes that can be made to stop over medicating children in the foster care system. 

Facts:

  • The majority of children in foster care using anti-psychotic medications are ages 6 years-11 years old.
  • Foster care youth are routinely prescribed drugs to control unwanted behaviors.
  • Foster children are being misdiagnosed with bi-polar or schizophrenia, however, more beneficial are effective therapeutic strategies to cope with their trauma.
  • According to data collected by the GAO (Government Accountability Office), Infants were prescribed Clonidine with dosages generally used in older children, which can cause significant sedation and potential cardiac problems, even death.

Effects on Society:

  • Tax payers are flipping the bill for the over-medicating of children, due to the fact that children in foster care are covered under Medicaid which is a state/federal funded program.
  • There is not enough research on the effects of these psychotropic drugs used on children, since some of these medications are 10-15 years old and are mainly used to treat schizophrenia and bi-polar disorders in adults.
  • Children that take these medications are more susceptible to develop diabetes which will require substantial medical costs to taxpayers. Diabetes, tics and brain damage are some of the effects of the medications given to the foster children. 
  • Cocktails of psychotropic drugs can lead to children committing suicide.

Call to Action: 

  • Hold psychiatrists and medical professionals accountable for practicing unethically.
  • Help fund better supportive services and education for case managers and potential foster parents.
  • Stronger legislation in how much psychiatrists and other medical providers distribute medications to vulnerable populations such as children in our foster care system.
  • Effective therapeutic practices and evidence based interventions should be utilized first before prescribing psychotropic drugs to young children.

These children do not have a voice to speak up for themselves. It is our responsibility to raise awareness for them. Help by signing today. 



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