Shocking use of psychotropic drugs in foster care

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A shocking report from the government states that foster kids are being prescribed powerful psychotropic drugs, at doses beyond what the FDA recommends, for very young children.

Obviously, kids in foster care have survived a number of horrors and most are in real need of pharmaceutical inventions. For example, three quarters of the kids who enter Maryhurst’s program, a nonprofit agency for neglected or abused children in Kentucky, are on psychotropic drugs. However, as they leave the program, over half are on reduced or no medication at all. “Our children come to us on many medications, but over time we want to reduce the medication as much as possible and hopefully, to where they wouldn’t need any at all. That’s a fine balance, but we want them to be able to participate in the treatment and if they’re overmedicated, they can’t do that,” said Judy Lambeth, president and CEO of the Maryhurst program.

That’s the obvious stuff. But what’s unacceptable is the shocking overuse of psychotropic drugs even under the best case conditions. Since these drugs are provided by Medicaid, they are open to governmental oversight. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) experts say there is more evidence of misuse, overuse and potential health risk than the typical foster kids should engender.

They found these offenses in particular: 1) kids using five or more psychotropic drugs at once with no discernible benefit, 2) children prescribed higher doses than the maximum levels cited in FDA guidelines, and 3) children under 1 year old taking psychotropic drugs.

The GAO recommended that The Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) begin endorsing guidance for states on best practices for the use of psychotropic prescriptions for foster children. HHS agreed. An official report with agency comments will follow.

Source: HHS, MedicalNewsToday

 
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