“Records have been so fragmented,” Ammann said. “And there hasn’t been good communication between doctors.”
The misuse of psychotropic drugs among foster children can lead to serious side effects, including hallucinations, self-harm and suicidal thoughts, and chronic illnesses such as Type II diabetes.
“These medications often cause severe weight gain. We are talking a healthy, physically active, normal-sized teenage adding 100 pounds in six months,” Ammann said. “We heard that over and over.”
Ammann said he’s also heard from many former foster kids who are now adults and say the medications affect them still. They cannot get jobs, keep jobs or stay awake in their college classes because of the psychotropic medications they were prescribed, the law professor said.
“We clearly agree there are situations where medications are necessary,” Ammann said. “Our position is the first line of defense should be with therapies, other treatments that don’t involve medications.”
“The psychotropic medications have been the treatment of choice,” he said. “And that is what changes with the settlement.”
The agreement will benefit the more than 13,000 children in Missouri’s foster care system and sets a strong legal precedent that may lead to greater safety in the use of psychotropics among youths in foster care nationwide, the release said. It calls for overhauling the state’s practices around the use of psychotropic medications in foster care through the following reforms…
More about use of Psychotropic drugs in Missouri’s foster kids: