Health

Foster Care Kids Given Too Many Mind-Altering Drugs, Says Report

| by Michael Allen

A new report released by the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services finds that foster kids are often overmedicated with powerful antipsychotic drugs.

CBS News reports that the study found that children may not even need powerful prescription drugs such as "aripiprazole, olanzapine, paliperidone, quetiapine fumarate, and risperidone."

The study also said that foster children who are prescribed these drugs are sometimes given too much, advised to take the medications too long and are not monitored in the way they should be.

The report also claims that children are not receiving enough therapy and intensive treatments from doctors and counselors, which costs states financially. The cheaper solution for the states is to put the children on prescription drugs via Medicaid.

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in 2011 that found one-fourth of foster children in Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Texas were given at least one psychiatric drug.

Some kids were getting higher levels of these mind-altering drugs than are allowed by the FDA, noted ABC News.

There were also foster children being prescribed five or more psychiatric drugs simultaneously.

Sen. Thomas Carper (D-Delaware) said in response to the GAO report: "I was almost despondent to believe that the kids under the age of one, babies under the age of one were receiving this kind of medication."

Sources: CBS News, ABC News
Image Credit: CDC