Psychotropic Drugs Given in Missouri Foster Care

According to a suit filed on Monday, June 12, 2017, Missouri’s foster care system prescribes a serious amount of anti-psychotic drugs to children. The suit was filed by the National Center for Youth Law, the Saint Louis University School of Law Legal Clinic, and the legal advocacy group Children’s Rights. The whole situation calls into question the doctors and employees that work with and within the Missouri foster care system.

Why Use These Drugs?

The drugs in question are powerful psychotropic drugs designed for patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. However, they are not being given to only those with the corresponding diagnoses. Instead, they are being used to manage behavioral problems or attention deficit disorders. They are basically used as massive sedatives to control difficult behaviors in children.

The Problem

The problem of giving out unnecessary medications to children is compounded by an incompetent system of medical record-keeping. Caregivers in many instances don’t know what some medications are or do, what they are supposed to help the child with, and the benefits the child will derive.

Another problem is that this is an assault on a child’s constitutional rights; when a child is taken into states custody, it is the state’s responsibility to see that they come to no harm.

Lives in Danger

According to the lawsuit, in several cases, the foster child has arrived at a new guardian’s home with medicine stuffed in a paper bag or wrapped in tissue paper, without information about the proper dosage or side effects. One child was hospitalized for six days after she received the wrong dose of multiple different psychotropic medications. Another child was prescribed seven different psychotropic drugs at once, including three anti-psychotics. The suit says, as a result, he developed tremors and required institutionalization.

Drug-Free Lives

Besides the risking children’s lives, this abuse can cause children to become reliant upon these and other medications, which can develop into an addiction and dependency for these kids at-risk. Stopping the abuse can prevent future drug users as well as prevent homelessness.

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