Drugs in the system: Foster children and antipsychotic medication

This week on our investigative series The Watch List: An update to our story on the use and potential over-use of powerful antipsychotic drugs on children in the nation’s foster care systems.

Nearly one in every 10 American children is diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Often the treatment prescribed is medication. Children in foster care are prescribed drugs at a much higher rate than that of other kids. And concern over their well-being — not to mention the amount it costs to treat them — has prompted the government accountability office to investigate potentially abusive prescribing practices in state foster care systems. The GAO findings are expected to come out later this year. Need to Know correspondent Shoshana Guy provides an update on a story we first aired in January.

 
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Comments

  • Anonymous

    The drugging of kids is an outrage. Our years of “Profit” over everything else and no regulation, no oversight, no accountability, and outrageous profits of Pharma thanks to Congress is what we have today.
    In our state, Utah, we have 28% of all women on anti-depressents, about 8% of males. 40% are on some sort of prescription drugs. We are deluged by TV and media advertisements of drugs. We are the only country that allows advertisement of drugs on TV.
     
    My mother told me that doctors were receiving “kickbacks” from drug companies for the prescriptions their patients receive. I said Naw, that cannot be true. Sure enough, I googled Pharmacy payments to doctors and a website came up with the Website in Minnesota that has required the drug companies to disclose how much “kickback” payments to doctors. I clicked on 2006 and 109 pdf files came up, I clicked on eli lilly and 18 pages came up. On page 3, a doctor in Rocherster MN received $289,000 from eli Lilly, going down the 15 pages, $100,000 and $15,000.

    I then looked up how much the total cost in 2006, the AMA estimates are the costs of “marketing” the TV, Media like Readers Digest and kickbacks to doctors.
    The total cost was $21 Billion, $3 Billion for TV and media and $18 Billion to doctors.
    The $21 Billion does not include the $6800 annually spent in “perks” by drug salesman who visit doctors and staff with dinners and gifts.

    Why are we allowing this?
    Could it be all the money drug companies use to bribe Congress?
    Could it be all the money spent on TV and Media?
    Could it be all the money bribed to Doctors?

    Our family has none of our kids on drugs even when the school “recommended” Ritilin the drug of choice to “settle down the kids”.

    Parents better challenge and question and err on the side of No Drugs for my kids instead of putting those poisons in a kids mouth to “settle him or her down”.

    The doctors on your program are “drug pushers”. Check their “kickback” scores.
    Only five states have legislation that forces drugs to report kickbacks, 17 others tried but were defeated by Doctor’s and Pharma lobbys.

    You might find the doctors in your state who take kickbacks.
    http://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/

    Minnesota “Kickback” list of doctors
    http://www.phcybrd.state.mn.us/main_pay.htm

  • http://twitter.com/TheCynicalRPh Cynical Pharmacist

    Man, if this report doesn’t make you mad, nothing will.

  • Rick Manuel

    I have just encountered this same issue in Arizona where I am a prospective adoptive parent and currently a mentor.  I found, in meeting a foster child for the first time, that he was like a zombie and I have discovered he was placed in a home 100% opposite of what his biography says he needs and now has emotional issues as a result and had to be medicated.  Bizarre.  When I asked if he could be eased off the medications so I could develope a meaningful relationship with him I was told “no” because his foster mother wants him on them.  I was rendered helpless and now I find this is very widespread and I am angry.  I’ve just sent a letter to the governor demanding an investigation of this and several other issues involving Childrens Protective Services.  I need to get a copy of this program and permission to make copies for every member of the Arizona Legislature.  There is no link on your website to allow me to order such a video or request the permission.  Oh, another thing, it is against regulations here for a mentor to adopt his mentoree (conflict of interest).

    Richard Manuel
    rickgv178@hotmail.com

  • Anonymous

    While watching the program I wondered about why the drugs became so routine… and then I read the comments…  Single Payer Now.

  • Leavitt

    We have been a foster/adopt family now for over ten years (Utah). I was very strongly encouraged by multiple doctors, counselors, teachers and administration, to get some of these kids medicated because of behavioural problems. I resisted, and was determined to turn them around through love, patience, and years of hard work. There is no quick fix to mending these kids. Years of damage take years to correct. We are seeing the results and are grateful we went with our hearts!

  • http://www.facebook.com/GlyCop Michael West

    It is very important to comment on the ignorant and apathetic medical system that allows multiple prescriptions to be administered to children when love, proper nutrition and “The plant of renown” can have much greater benefits for these children.

  • http://www.facebook.com/GlyCop Michael West

    It is very important to comment on the ignorant and apathetic medical system that allows multiple prescriptions to be administered to children when love, proper nutrition and “The plant of renown” can have much greater benefits for these children.

    Another solution is a simple compound called Magnesium Chloride (oil) and it can have profoundly positive results for children with behavior and physical problems.

    See http://www.swansonvitamins.com/SWU496/ItemDetail dilute it 1:1 with distilled water and massage a small amount into the skin over the entire body. Anyone will soon feel calm, clearness of thought and experience healing if this is done several times a week. Contact me if you want to know more…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kenneth-Williams/100001781007537 Kenneth Williams

    This happens a lot. Florida has the Baker Act and I was forced to be hospitalized by the state and given meds for a period of 7 years. My meds changed every time the drug advertisement changed on the doctors pen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kenneth-Williams/100001781007537 Kenneth Williams

    This happens a lot. Florida has the Baker Act and I was forced to be hospitalized by the state and given meds for a period of 7 years. My meds changed every time the drug advertisement changed on the doctors pen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=771257967 Mike Rollins

    Your desire for “Single Payer Now” unfortunately will only make it easier to dope up children, because it will be fully known that there is an entity available to pay for their druggings.

  • Baby Boomer’s View

    It takes a tremendous amount of love and patience to nurture a child, but a child who has been abused, lived in a violent home or has been moved frequently requires extraordinary parenting skills.  The sad thing is that foster families are not always able to lavish attention on a child who might be difficult to reach and less than welcoming in new situations. Teachers with their overcrowded classrooms struggle to incorporate a disruptive, attention-seeking child, but also lack the time or endless patience to deal with one child that “acts out” so, these children wind up on medication.It is wrong and further highlights the lack of understanding we show for some very traumatized children who should be approached with patience and get extra support. Most foster children have no had much stability, and require nurturing and kindness until they can trust an adult again. Medicating a minor who is not sick is for the convenience of adults and tampers with a child’s personality.

  • Baby Boomer’s View

    It takes a tremendous amount of love and patience to nurture a child, but a child who has been abused, lived in a violent home or has been moved frequently requires extraordinary parenting skills.  The sad thing is that foster families are not always able to lavish attention on a child who might be difficult to reach and less than welcoming in new situations. Teachers with their overcrowded classrooms struggle to incorporate a disruptive, attention-seeking child, but also lack the time or endless patience to deal with one child that “acts out” so, these children wind up on medication.It is wrong and further highlights the lack of understanding we show for some very traumatized children who should be approached with patience and get extra support. Most foster children have no had much stability, and require nurturing and kindness until they can trust an adult again. Medicating a minor who is not sick is for the convenience of adults and tampers with a child’s personality.

  • Michelle

    I believe that foster children do get over medicated, but right now the upswing is to not medicate foster children at all.  The system has went from one extreme to another.  I have a foster child who has been diagnosed by 4 different psychiatrist with ADHD who is still not medicated due to the unfairness of the sytem.  He has talked about hurting himself, has hurt others, spent 2.5 weeks in a day program and has spent 9 days in a psychiatric hospital.  Where is the balance?  Not on the foster care system.

  • Christen

    Any updates?