Foster children are extremely vulnerable. Many have been uprooted continuously with no permanent place to call home. With personal belongings transported inside an empty trash bag, they have little, if any stability in their lives.
Yet these children, desperately in need of comfort and love, are often dosed with powerful psychiatric drugs in an attempt to silence their anguish.
Practicing Malpractice: California’s Foster Care Nightmare
Los Angeles County Judge Michael Nash presides over the country’s largest juvenile court. He stated in no uncertain terms, “We’re experimenting on our children.”
The San Jose Mercury News discovered through their investigation that 1 out of every 4 teenagers in California’s foster care program is dosed with psychotropics.
George Stewart, a child psychiatrist in Berkeley who has seen foster children in the Bay Area for the past 40 years calls this what it is: “…it’s just malpractice.”
There is bountiful evidence that the drugs have a profoundly deleterious effect on young people. Besides the physical damage like rapid-onset obesity and diabetes, foster kids themselves describe how they literally doze through school and life.
Ruinous Long Term Psychiatric Drug Effects
Psychiatrists have wasted little time on studying the long-term effects of their handiwork, but it has already been demonstrated that psychotropics can cause incurable tics (tardive dyskinesia) increased hostility and suicide. There is also evidence of brain shrinkage from these drugs.
Rochelle Trochtenberg is now 31 and lives in Eureka, California. She struggles to drink from a glass due to an uncontrollable shakiness in her hands. She spent years on a cocktail of drugs that included lithium, Prozac and a host of others. She says when people question her about this, she tells them she may have a hereditary condition.
Rochelle says “I don’t want to tell people I have a tremor because I was drugged for my whole adolescence.”
Tens of Thousands of Children Subjected to Untested Drugging
State officials in California have not been forthcoming in revealing this pattern of prescribing psychiatric drugs for foster kids. The San Jose Mercury News interviewed 175 people (including many current and former foster youth) throughout the state in an attempt to get at the truth.
Tens of thousands of foster children have been subjected to the dangers of psychotropic drugging for the past 10 years. Well over half were given antipsychotics, which have a very high risk factor. This is despite the fact that the FDA only authorizes that class of drugs for children who have severe mental illness (one might argue that no child should ever be given these drugs for any reason whatever).
Yet in California they are prescribed freely to foster kids for behavior problems. Children who are emotionally distraught due to harrowing family upheaval which could include sexual, mental and physical abuse are punished further by abusive drugging by those who should know better.
A Cocktail of Dangerous Drugs
Commonly multiple drugs are prescribed concurrently. In fact, 12.2 percent of foster kids in California receiving a psych drug in 2013 were additionally given up to four or more at a time. There is no scientific evidence that this cocktail of drugs will not cause grave damage to young and developing brains.
Arguably, appointing psychiatrists and other uncaring individuals to positions of trust when it comes to our foster children is a grave oversight. How many young lives will be lost or destroyed before the Foster Care system is re-evaluated?