California’s Foster Care System Prescribes Huge Quantity Of Drugs To Youth

Almost 25 percent of adolescents in California’s foster care system are receiving psychiatric drugs that have not been tested on young people, and, are many times, not approved for use by minors. A new bill may help reduce these numbers and make sure the drugs are working as they should.

The Mercury News broke that story in 2014, and added, "Over the last decade, almost 15 percent of the state’s foster children of all ages were prescribed the medications, known as psychotropics."

The Los Angeles Times reported in February that Los Angeles County records failed to note that "almost one in three cases of children on the drugs while in foster care or the custody of the delinquency system."

Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services Medical Director Charles Sophy and Director Philip Browning, and Reaver Bingham, deputy chief of the Los Angeles County Probation Department, said they were not not aware of the information until around the date of The Los Angeles Times report.

The Mercury Times reported on April 17 that a group of policy leaders, health care officials and attorneys released some nonbinding guidelines for doctors in California to follow when treating the state's 63,000 foster children.

A proposed California state Senate Bill 319 would force the California Department of Social Services to set up a new protocol in which public health nurses would monitor and oversee the "prescription of psychotropic medications to foster youth," reports The Chronicle of Social Change.

Sources: Mercury News 1, Mercury News 2, The Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Social Change
Image Credit: Jaroslav A. Polak


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