“House Bill 23 hits a rare political sweet spot. The proposal to create an independent clinic review of the drugs foster children are given has support from Democrats and Republicans because of its efforts to protect the vulnerable – and projections that it will save the state millions of dollars.”
Concern over high medication rate among foster kids
Review of kids’ psych drugs urged
By April Hunt
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
While in foster care, Giovan Bazan, now 20, says he was put on Ritalin, anti-depressants and sleeping pills. At 18, he elected to stop all drugs, and says he learned he didn’t need them.
Giovan Bazan was 6 when a doctor first gave him medicine to treat his diagnosis of hyperactivity.
Bazan admits he was unruly at the time. Perhaps it was because the only parent he had ever known, his foster mother since he was an infant, had just died.
No one asked about that. Nor did anyone check years later to see that he was on a double dose of Ritalin when another physician, seeing a boy so mellowed out that he barely reacted, prescribed an antidepressant. “They start you on one thing for a problem, then the side effects mean you need a new medicine,” Bazan said. “As a foster kid, I’d go between all these doctors, caseworkers, therapists, and [it] seemed like every time there was a new drug to try me on.”
When he turned 18, Bazan elected to stop all medications. It turned out he didn’t need any of them.
Now, the Georgia House is weighing an idea to better track the psychotropic drugs foster children take at a far greater rate than other kids.
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