Florida Foster Kids Over Medicated
No one knows what was going through 7-year-old Gabriel Myers' head when he decided to hang himself on April 16. But experts believe the foster kid had nowhere to turn, and his actions were influenced by a slew of prescribed drugs. His death is shedding light on the overwhelming number of foster youth being subscribed psychotropic drugs and could lead to legislation to fix the problem.
State Senator Rhonda Storms is heading a committee in search of answers. “I can’t accept or believe that a little child can’t be reached after terrible things have been done to him, except by drugging him, and drugging him and drugging him,” said Storms.
Gabriel’s death spawned an investigation, uncovering an alarming trend. 3,000, or about 15 percent, of Florida’s foster kids are being prescribed mind-altering medication. There are even kids in the system as young as two years old on the drugs.
Robin Rosenberg is a foster parent and children's advocate. She says part of the problem is foster kids rarely have stability, and they switch doctors frequently.
The Department of Children and Families is responsible for the care of foster kids. Still many rights, like signing off on a doctor’s prescription, remain in the hands of the biological parents.
State Senators are considering requiring a third party approve any prescriptions being given to foster kids.
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