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USA legislator McDermott holds hearings on foster care psychiatric drugging.

Hearings are being held in US Congress on 8 May 2008 about the abuse of foster care youth by psychiatric drugging.

USA legislator McDermott holds hearings on foster care psychiatric drugging.

Rep. Jim McDermott holds a hearing on psychiatric drugging in foster care.

[forwarded message from US Congressperson Jim McDermott]





CONTACT: (202) 225-1025

McDermott Announces Hearing on the Utilization of Psychotropic Medication for Children in Foster Care

Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, today announced a hearing to examine the use of psychotropic drugs for children in the foster care system. The hearing will take place on Thursday, May 8, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. in room B-318 Rayburn House Office Building.


Psychotropic medications have been increasingly prescribed for  children in recent years, but the use of these drugs appears to  be particularly elevated for children in foster care. One recent  study found that psychotropic drug treatment was three or  four times more common for youth in foster care than for other children receiving health care services through the Medicaid program. Additionally, children in foster care are often prescribed multiple psychotropic medications, and sometimes these drugs are used for off-label purposes (i.e., meaning their effects have not been demonstrated in children). These medicines are most commonly used to treat depression, anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

While the trauma associated with coming into foster care may increase some children's need for certain prescription drugs, the high rate of use of psychotropic medications in foster care has raised concerns regarding the monitoring of these drugs and whether a continuum of treatment services is being provided to these children beyond medication. It appears only a minority of States have established methods to formally regulate the use and administration of these medications among children in their care.

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Jay Mahler

Jay is a survivor of forced electroshock who spent ten years in the mental health system. He is now a widely respected leader in California, where he founded Mental Health Consumer Concerns and the California Network of Mental Health Clients. Jay is pictured here at a MindFreedom strategy conference at Highlander. (Photo by Tom Olin.)
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