California Foster Children Drugged at “Alarming” Rates

Rob Wipond
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San Jose Mercury News has published the first of a four-part series of investigative articles about the psychotropic drugging of California children. “A year of interviews with foster youth, caregivers, doctors, researchers and legal advocates uncovered how the largest foster care system in the U.S. has grown dependent on quick-fix, taxpayer-funded, big-profit pharmaceuticals — and how the state has done little to stop it,” reports the newspaper in part one.

San Jose Mercury News discovered that 12.2 percent of California foster children are being described two or more psychotropic medications at a time, while more than half of those who live in residential group homes — and as many as 100 percent in some counties — are authorized by juvenile courts to be given psychotropic drugs.

“To be prescribing these medications so extensively and so, I think, thoughtlessly, with so little evidence supporting their use, it’s just malpractice,” one Berkeley child psychiatrist told the San Jose Mercury News. “It really is drugging them.”

The newspaper also reports that the government has been resistant to providing key data about the practices.

Drugging Our Kids (San Jose Mercury News, August 2014)

16 COMMENTS

    • This is a largely untold, but extremely disgraceful and tragic story here in Germany as well. In particular, children and adolescents of limited cognitive abilities who are living in institutions, are medicated at alarming rates (often with several different psychotropic substances at the same time). The children usually don’t know better and often don’t have the language skills necessary to complain or resist, the institutions maintain that they would not be able to care for such children with out the use of psychotropic medications to manage behavior, and the parents of these children are put under tremendous pressure from the institutions to agree to the doping of their kids lest the child be moved to an institution much farther away from home. Nobody talks about “treating illness” or “taking meds to get healthy” because it is clear that the prescription of these psychotropic medications is simply to control and manage behavior, and to do it more cheaply than by hiring more staff to interact with the children. Michel Foucault and Thomas Szasz are most likely rolling around in their coffins!!

      • I think that introducing legislation banning the use of medication for behavioural control (at the very least on minors, elderly and all the people who either are unable to or don’t provide consent) should be one of the first things on an agenda. For people who are against using these drugs in general that may not be satisfying but I think strategically it’s a great step forward – in such case you can’t drug someone to make them calm, stop them from being annoying etc. And it should be easy to justify – in fact the drugs should treat a “real illness” (like diabetes;P) and not make people into zombies or robots with no benefit for them personally, or?

  1. The San Jose Mercury Néws should be nominated for a Pulitizer for its story exposing the egregious drugging of foster kids in CA. It’s completely heartbreaking. How in society did these practices become the norm? For the Berkekey psychiatrist to suggest the drugging of foster kids ” is malpractice” – surely his words stand out? Recently, there was a court case involving similar egregious neuroleptic/”antipsychotic” drugging of a woman in a nursing home in Ventura, CA. The law firm representing this case, which won, was in Thousands Oaks. Surely, brain violations against our most vulnerable members of society, the innocent children caught up in the foster case system, should be litigated too? Are there not law firms in CA willing to get involved? Isn’t that what we keep hearing from many at MIA-these cases must be represented legally to bring about change?

    At the end of this article, there is contact info. I ask each of us to voice our concerns!!!

    • I agree Larmac with your Pulitzer nomination – this journalist really dug in, persisted and got multiple perspectives (esp from foster youth)
      One other aspect – I believe foster parents have a financial incentive to get their youths on psychotropics – higher reimbursements if medicated.

      • Yes, our laws today make it more profitable to stigmatize and drug a foster child, than not. Our society is structured improperly currently. But that’s what happens when we switch from a country “of the people, for the people” to one controlled by profit only motivated corporations.

  2. This article is superb in that it reports the very hard hitting truth about the abuse of children with bogus, INVALID psychiatric stigmas to push lethal, brain/body damaging drugs without mincing words or sugar coating it! It is encouraging that some of the psychiatrists and other mental health workers acknowledged that poisoning children/teens as a supposed remedy for heartbreak from huge losses of parents, family, homes and so much more is gruesome to say the least.

    The fools that wax poetic about how helpful these toxic poison drugs are show their gross ignorance, lack of empathy/conscience and inability to deal with these kids in a humane, mature, intelligent way. And one must bare in mind that most if not all so called foster parents get money to do this job, so their forcing drugs on these kids to make them more easily controlled zombies as in nursing homes makes this blood money! Plus, the doctors in the article admit the drugs may work for two weeks to restrain some behaviors if they even do that, but are mostly useless for this purpose overall while causing huge harm to the brains/health of these children/teens.

    And children already suffering such loss really need to be made obese, incontinent, shaky, manic, aggressive, suicidal, insomniacs and all the other horrible things that happed to those forced on toxic, useless psych drugs.

    The original perpetrators creating the DSM III and selling out to Big Pharma like Robert Spitzer, ed., and his pals for greed, profit, power, status, malignant narcissism/psychopathy and their own obvious inhumanity should have their own Nuremburg Trials. Once this crime against humanity occurred, it was only a matter of time before the Joseph Biederman’s came along and created the child drugging epidemic by selling out to Johnson & Johnson and other Big Pharma greed by single handedly creating the bogus child ADHD and bipolar epidemics with the goal of pushing toxic neuroleptics.

    This whole despicable enterprise shows that the U.S., its legal system, politicians, doctors and the medical profession and society as a whole have lost their moral compass if they ever had one.

    I think the fact that such an article has been written and published shows that things may be looking up in terms of educating the pubic and would be victims about this evil death trap as more and more people see the truth about Toxic Psychiatry and Mad Science.

    I look forward to seeing the second part of the article.

    • Foster parents get precious little money to take care of children. We need to put our money where our mouth is and spend more initially for the care of these children so that we and they don’t pay more in the long run.

      Adult foster care is pretty much the same with some being drugged to the gills because no one has time to talk to them and the people being drugged can’t afford better care.

  3. I personally was medically provably misdiagnosed with a “mental illness” and massively drugged up, according to my medical records, based upon lies and gossip from an ELCA pastor and his friends, at whose house the sexual abuse of my child occurred. And it was explained to me by Methodist pastors who’d been kind enough to read my chronically written up medical records and medical research, that I’d dealt with “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.” And I have realized, based upon a lot of research that apparently, historically and today, psychiatric stigmatization and drugging victims of child abuse is common.

    I’m heartbroken that our country has adopted this “dirty little secret” way of covering up child abuse, to all the foster care children. I hope doctors some day realize that denying people’s real life problems are real, and instead covering up abuse of children with psychiatric stigmatization and tranquilization doesn’t “cure” the problem of child abuse. The child molesters need to be put in jail instead.