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Child-welfare panel: Potent drugs misused on foster kids

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posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 08:44 AM

Florida's mental health system for foster kids relies far too often on drugs, with little oversight, according to a draft report on the suicide of 7-year-old Gabriel Myers.

Florida is by no means alone when it comes to this practice of medicating children with a host of mental and social problems from the mild to the severe. Many states utilize this practice as a first step in dealing with troubled children.

Admitting for the first time what critics have claimed for years, state child-welfare authorities say caregivers for children in state custody frequently use powerful mind-altering drugs to manage unruly kids, rather than treat their anger and sadness.

A panel of child-welfare experts, including two top administrators from the state Department of Children & Families, examined the death of a 7-year-old Broward foster child who was on psychotropic medications -- without the required consent -- when he hanged himself in a Margate home.

The panel's report, expected to be released publicly later this month, says child welfare authorities too often rely on the potent medications to manage abused and neglected children -- but fail to offer psychiatric treatment to help them overcome the trauma they suffered.

``Psychotherapeutic medications are often being used to help parents, teachers and other child workers quiet and manage, rather than treat, children,'' the report says. It adds: ``We have not clearly articulated the standard of psychiatric care expected for children in state foster care.''

Miami Herald

While many people might site this as a perfect example of why Government needs to overhaul the Health Care Industry, the reality is it’s a far too typical result of bureaucrats wanting to simply ‘manage’ as opposed to correcting and curing ailments.

Kids who more often than not who just need some counseling and some personal one on one attention are given a pill bottle instead. The pharmaceutical companies make a fortune off of state and federal funds; the child is simply doped into a less responsive more manageable state. Often with detrimental and sometimes even deadly results.

In the new health care bill(s) there are multiple proposals for the government to become more interactive with the health of children through home visits and consultations with parents who ‘volunteer’ for them on the proposed government health plan.

This is how the government has long sought to manage most developmental problems…medicate the child.

Obama talks about the discounts big pharmaceutical companies are willing to offer to make a government health plan a reality…could it be it is because they know that the government doctors already love to remedy everything with a prescription?

Health care is pretty much broken and in need of an overhaul in America but sadly most of what has broken it has been government’s involvement in it already.

America’s future is our children and thanks to government health far too many of our children are just being turned into medicated zombies for lack of the real help they need in learning social skills, emotional and self discipline, etiquette and manners. Of course you can’t put those or common sense in a pill bottle, and no one pharmaceutical corporation or a couple combined can make all the profit off of a government always happy to write a check to make itself feel good about a problem that only always gets worse because money and drugs alone really isn’t the answer.

Who should be writing the Health Care Bill? Concerned citizens and parents who witness the tragedy every day of a poorly run government health care system far too many poor and low income families already are a part of, not Congress!

[edit on 13/8/09 by ProtoplasmicTraveler]

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 08:50 AM

Gabriel Myers hanged himself from a detachable shower hose April 16 at a Broward foster home. He had been in foster care since the previous June, when his mother had been found slumped in her car, surrounded by a stash of narcotics.

After The Miami Herald reported that Gabriel had been given several psychiatric drugs linked by federal regulators to potentially dangerous side effects, including suicide, DCF Secretary George Sheldon appointed a work group to study the care given to the boy, as well as the agency's overall reliance on mind-altering drugs.

Sheldon said Wednesday that serious questions arose over why so many children in state care are on psychotropic medications -- and why so many claim they feel fine once the drugs are discontinued.

As a long distant Dad to a separated family that isn’t given the opportunity to parent as a result I was pretty alarmed to discover two of my children were diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Bi-Polar Disease earlier this year after an ongoing series of discipline problems at school.

I felt certain it was simply a lack of emotional discipline skills and guidance and discipline in the home and school but like I said, as a long distance Dad I get to pay the bills but not parent.

As the last paragraph here in the article suggests once the children stopped taking the drugs, in their case out of the stigma of taking them, they felt fine, and recognized the need to improve their behavior and better discipline their own emotions to avoid the stigma of having to take the drugs.

They needed some expert guidance and interdiction but what they got was a prescription and a lesson in the school of hard knocks.

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 09:46 AM
It's always important to remember that a child who doesn't need medication can have his/her life destroyed by being medicated; and a child who does need medication can have his/her life destroyed by not being medicated.

The technology exists to prove conclusively if a child genuinely has a neurological condition that needs to be treated; but it's expensive, so most doctors claim that "no diagnostic exam exists."

It's up to parents to do their due diligence.

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 11:40 AM

Originally posted by theWCH
It's always important to remember that a child who doesn't need medication can have his/her life destroyed by being medicated; and a child who does need medication can have his/her life destroyed by not being medicated.

The technology exists to prove conclusively if a child genuinely has a neurological condition that needs to be treated; but it's expensive, so most doctors claim that "no diagnostic exam exists."

It's up to parents to do their due diligence.

That's the thing, it's not really expensive to turn on a machine and press the button! They like to pretend it's expensive, and the machine is expensive, but in reality the machine has a few hundred dollars of wholesale material in it, and a 25.00 an hour technician operating it for 15 minutes. Of course your cost for the 15 minutes is 4,582.63.

The health industry is just another criminal racket and way to extort and control people.

posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 07:46 AM
I am a Foster parent in Texas. We have 2 foster kids right now. Neither is on any type of drugs. However, we have to take a 6 hour class once a year on Psychotropic medications. They definitely love to medicate the state children.

When we took one of our kids in for a fever after the child having been with us for a whole week, I was bombarded by questions for 20 or 30 minutes from the doctor about all types of stuff. 95% of those questions had nothing to do with the fever that we brought him in for. She was definitely fishing for something. I told my wife I thought they were trying to find something so they could medicate or refer us to someone else to look into the possibility. See, once they refer a foster child, you have to follow up on that. We, as foster parents, can't make the decision to not follow a doctors advice. It can be very frustrating. She referred our foster child for speech therapy. Now our 2 year old is subject to speech therapy twice a week. I do not feel he needs this.

But, the speech therapist is in the doctors (who referred us) network. I say all of this because I am a witness to what goes on with these kids. They love to medicate instead of treat and the everyday care givers have no say. Just some judge, or CPS, that sees the child once every couple of months.

posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 05:26 PM
reply to post by ag2000

Thanks for sharing your personal experiences with this AG200. It does seem like the 'system' of state sponsored medicine looks to medicate children when and where ever possible.

It leads one to wonder at that developmental stage how healthy it truly is on a growing mind and body and what long lasting effects it might have even after withdrawing from medication?

It's great of you to help the children like you are. The world needs more people like you friend.

Thanks so much for sharing.

posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 05:36 PM
reply to post by ag2000

A 2 year old that needs a speech therapist? Wow that is quiet inane. Most 2 year olds communicate half the time by acting like an animal, I do not believe you could diagnose the need for a therapist until at least 5 or 6..

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 08:40 AM
reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler

Thank you for the kind words. I really appreciate it. I am just one person and am doing what I can but there are others out there who have done so much more. There was a fellow foster parent that past away last month from cancer. She was in her early 50's. We came to find out that she had over 400 foster kids in her care throughout the years! That is absolutely amazing.

It can be heartbreaking to see the little one's that they get ahold of at a young age and begin to medicate. Most of them leave the foster home after a few weeks to a year so you never know what has happened to them. I don't even want to know really. The mind altering drugs that some are forced to take because they (the "professionals") deem it necessary is mind boggling. Granted, there are some that have serious issues after going through years of traumatic experiences and need something to help them lead a more normal life. But, there are too many that are just "kids". They are not stupid either. They know they are taking the "medicine" because something is "wrong" with them.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 08:44 AM
reply to post by Miraj

I agree. That's what I told my wife after I heard they had referred him to therapy. He's two! But, it means more money for the "network" that the doctor who referred him is in. I see no other reason for it than that. In fact, the speech therapist seamed a little confused when she came for the evaluation as to why she was there.

Oh, and, yes he does communicate like an animal sometimes...We get a good laugh out of it mostly.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 09:42 AM
reply to post by ag2000

You hit the nail on the old proverbial head right there friend. Kids truly aren’t stupid. (Though I think they have their concerns, sometimes valid ones about us adults being stupid!) Not only do a lot of these medications change the composition of the chemical makeup of their systems but they are being stigmatized in the process to one degree while to another degree they are being taught that they have some serious deficiency that will limit them in life. Very often in my humble opinion children going through typical adolescent angst and hormonal rages just don’t have a positive role model in their life that they get enough time to interact with, that they respect, that can teach them emotional discipline and self control and the manners and etiquette to overcome life’s disappointments in sociable ways. They end up teaching themselves at that point well “I can’t” do this, and “I can’t” do that, because in part the medical community as already convinced them that they can’t do this and can’t do that and there is something wrong with them, so don’t even try. It’s absolutely heartbreaking because the child suffers all the way around, from the stigma associated with the so called ailment when it is a premature and incorrect diagnosis, to the debilitating lack of belief in one’s self, to the chemical intrusions in their own bodies, and them most of all the inability to cope with society in polite and congenial ways that ultimately will open more doors in life than education, looks, or wealth. The physicians use the practice as a way to keep scheduling follow ups for a child that isn’t sick, the pharmaceutical companies profit off of it likely even more so from that financial standpoint and the child is often prevented in the process from getting the real attention they need to develop towards a healthy and sustainable productive attitude and perspective about themselves and life.

It’s great that there are some people like you that still see our future generations as being worth the investment of love, time, attention and money. You are sadly too rare in this day and age. I truly admire and respect you have that wisdom and love in you to share with the people who need it most, our discarded and unwanted youth.

Thanks for being you and sharing!

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 10:10 AM
I am in Florida and I had no idea about this case. Thank you Op, for the information. S&F!

Yes, sadly in all areas of the country they(CPS) would rather have the children medicated, which doesn't really treat them for the problems they have deep down. I remember the school always wanting my son to be put on ritilin when he just started kindergarden and his pediatrician asked me "Is this what YOU want?" I stated "absolutely NOT!" do you know what the school did, I bet you can guess, Yes they got CPS involved. Of course. But there was nothing wrong with my child or his upbringing. The kid was perfectly normal at home, at the doctor's office, etc. There were issues at school, of course, but when someone is taunting you, how do you think you're going to respond? With action. He was in a lot of fights, instead of fixing the A***** Kid bully, they had the GALL to try and put my kid on meds. Beleive me it was hell, he had to go to a neurologist under CPS order, I got to laugh in their face (CPS and the school) when their own doctor said "This kid doesn't need ritilin in any way, shape, or form"...hahaha. They had to drop the whole thing. Thankfully we moved out of that school system and he never had a problem again...ever. School's are part of the problem, too. Many parents will tell you this.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 10:29 AM
reply to post by ldyserenity

I agree with you that schools are part of the system and thanks for sharing your own personal story. It sounds like quite a harrowing experience you had to go through.

I admire you for sticking to your guns and principals and making them backup their claims and assertions...which of course as is so often the case were baseless and lacked a real professional and consiencous approach.

I believe the government knows that there are fewer and fewer real productive opportunities for the young as they reach adulthood and want them medicated to a managable level that makes the lack of need for them in the working world less troubling to the young.

Something is very wrong with our government and society in my humble oppinion and a lot of it has to do with the schools were the teachers aren't really adequately empowered or trained or staffed to deal with the real priority of education which is teaching social norms and children how to interact with one another and authority in possitive and constructive ways.

In my day if you didn't listen to a teacher, talked back, or bullied another child you found yourself stood in a corner in front of the class and the teacher or the vice-principal took a wooden paddle to your backside to help you understand there were real painful and humiliating consequences for your actions.

Today's children live with the knowledge and are empowered there will be few repurcussions or reprisals for defiant and anti-social behavior and often seem to delight in the fact that society has virtually made them 'untouchable' in that regard and I do believe that is half the problem.

Children must have real discipline instilled in them if they are to learn how to act in self-disciplined ways in my humble oppinion.

I am glad everything turned out well in the end, but sorry to hear you had to go through all that time, expense and emotional turmoil just to get the state to behave in a responsive and intelligent manner.

Good job! Thanks for sharing.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 10:57 AM
reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler

Thank you. Thank the Lord I was working a state job myself and had excellent covreage so I wouldn't have to pay a dime myself, just gas and loss of time at work which in turn meant I lost pay, but I found out they paid for it anyway(CPS). Their doctors and their orders, so they were under obligation to pay. So not only did they waste my time and money, they wasted theirs which is truly funny. LOL!

I was once going to go into the education feild myself, even started going to a local community college for it, But I never got to finish. Too bad maybe I could have helped change a flawed system. MAybe I'll go back and be able to finish this time. But, on the other hand, there are more children in the classrooms, and it is harder to be an educator nowadays because they're so overcrowded and it's really hard to give them the one on one attention anymore, that is the problem with the educators these days. I can sort of sympathise on their part, too. There is no easy answer. Todays youth is being let down IMO. Two parents have to work full time, they get to spend less time with the children, they (children) In turn get less bounderies and limitations, not to mention single family homes, dysfunctional homes, and those in the system, it's really looking bad. I decided to make sacrifices for our family by staying home or working only parttime when my children were young, a lot of that decision was based on the experience with that school. If I stayed at that state job by now I could have had a beautiful home and lived like a Queen, but, what would my children have turned out like? Not the bright, happy, well adjusted ones they are today, not in the least. Not to mention if I chose my career over family, I may have just said "well yeah, sure, give him the drugs" so I don't miss more work or lose a days pay or whatever. But, I was prior to this well informed on medications, My first attempt at a career was in the Nursing field actually(wasn't for me I have a queasy stomache for one, and I am very sensitive for another), so I knew a whole lot about what these drugs can do to a developing child. I took Nursing In High School. Our school was leaps and bounds ahead of the school systems all over the rest of the country, but beleive it or not, they're probably no longer such a good system, as the poulation has grown 3 times what it was when I lived there, and the reason we had moved! So I agree with everything you stated, there's a problem with the entire system of government we have here. Too many, in fact. It's just futile trying to pick and choose a slice of it to change, when It all needs to be changed. It's disheartening.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 11:26 AM
reply to post by ldyserenity

You are most welcome my friend. It does seem like a huge task, but if we all share in the burden and each do our own part in standing up and speaking out and acting against what is clearly not right, then the task becomes less daunting and less hopeless.

You did the absolutely right thing, by standing up and speaking up and acting out.

The problem is that not enough people are inclined to do so because they are either intimidated into not doing so, lack the actual care and concern to do so, or feel there is no hope.

When you lead and share by example just like you have done, and share that example just like you are doing, it opens the door for those less confident and determined and educated to become more confident, determined and educated and that's how the world can eventually be changed one mind and one person at a time.

So it's really not hopeless as long as there are real human beings like yourself willing to do just what you have done!

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