California’s Foster Care System Doles Out A Shocking Amount Of Drugs | ThinkProgress

An investigation by San Jose Mercury News last August revealed that 25 percent of children in California’s foster care system received mind-altering medication, some of which wasn’t approved by the FDA. The rates of abuse in the state’s system more than tripled that the national average, the report said. California’s foster care system has carried on these practices on 15 percent of the wards for a decade, mainly doling out psychotropics — tablets that alter the mood, perceptions, or consciousness of those who use them.
Upon further analysis of state data, reporters at the San Jose Mercury News found that 60 percent of children prescribed psychotropics in the last 10 years received the class of medication with the highest health risks. In some cases, doctors doled out up to four medications at a time to more than 10 percent of youngsters in the foster care system without any knowledge of how it would affect brain function. Reporters also discovered that the juvenile courts authorized the distribution of drugs to children in group homes, places that house 3,800 children annually.
State officials acknowledged that while they intended the medication to calm down the children, mood swings soon followed in many cases. Additionally, the lasting effects have been found to be devastating, with many children experiencing long-term weight gain, lethargy, lack of focus, an increased risk of suicide, and a shrinking brain


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