Psychotropic Drug Use in Foster Care

Psychotropic Drug Use in Foster Care

In June of 2010, the US Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigatory arm of the Federal Government, to investigate the prevalence of prescribed psychotropic medications for children in foster care.

According to a number of foster care experts, children in foster care, who are typically concurrently enrolled in Medicaid, are three or four more times as likely to be on antipsychotic medications than other children on Medicaid. A Texas study from 2004 showed that 34.7 percent of foster children were prescribed at least one psychotropic drug with some children taking five or more.

Foster care parents receive more money if a child is on psychiatric drugs; the children are considered “special needs” children, needing a higher level of care.

Unfortunately, psychiatric drugs are not “care.” Prescribing psychotropic drugs for children is especially troubling given their addictive nature and the potential side effects associated with them, including the increased risk of suicidal and violent behavior.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that House Bill 23 in the Georgia state legislature proposes to create an independent clinic review of the drugs foster children are given, which has support from both Democrats and Republicans because of its efforts to protect the vulnerable. Projections are that it will save the state millions of dollars, as Georgia spends $7.87 million per year in Medicaid funds on mind-altering psychiatric drugs for foster children.

Click here for more information about the side effects of psychiatric drugs.

Download the report “Drugging Foster Care Children” from the CCHR St. Louis website.

If you are aware of foster care children being abused by psychiatric drugs, please report this to CCHR and to the GAO.

There is NO Controversy

Occasionally, reporters, news media, or other individuals CCHR encounters in the course of its activities, make the startling claim that the information CCHR provides about psychiatric fraud and abuse is “controversial.”

[controversial: something people disagree about or do not approve of; from Latin controversus “turned against, disputed”, from contra– “against” + vertere “to turn”]

We’d like to correct this impression and dispel this myth right now. Although, come to think of it, when you take the meaning of the word as “something people do not approve of,” you do come closer to the truth about psychiatry.

There can be no disagreement with the facts of psychiatric fraud and abuse. These facts have been repeatedly documented by CCHR since its founding in 1969. All the facts are there for your research, laid out in these reference sites:

So, again in fact, there is no controversy about the fraudulent nature of the psychiatric industry, or the harm of its treatments, or the abuse of its patients.

Where could people be getting this mistaken idea of controversy?

Well, among the majority of the general public there is a fundamental disagreement with and disapproval of psychiatry. And the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries certainly disagree with and disapprove of any effort to disseminate the truth and expose their fraud and abuse.

So, when someone tells you that “CCHR is controversial,” do not let them get away with this false idea. Any perceived controversy is actually put there by the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries themselves, in their desperate attempt to avoid the truth, their disagreement with being exposed as frauds, and their disapproval of anyone getting in the way of their blood money income.

You Paid For It, Missouri

First, some facts. The Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH) budget for the current fiscal year is $1,199,029,884; that’s nearly $1.2 billion. Of that total, $575,426,388 is from General Revenue (state taxes), $578,775,972 is Federal dollars, and $44,827,524 is from other sources such as state trust funds. Based on current state population, that’s $200 per person per year going to the MO DMH for facilities, personnel, administration, and rugs. Missouri will spend $466 million this fiscal year on non-Medicaid mental health treatment. For another perspective, if you drive or walk through downtown St. Louis, just count the number of homeless people sleeping on park benches or panhandling on street corners.

For the last five years, Missouri has received grants of Federal money funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), roughly $750,000 per year, and managed by a Governor-appointed committee called the Transformation Working Group.

SAMHSA is the federal agency that recently published a report falsely stating that 1 out of 5 people in the U.S. is mentally ill.

The Missouri Mental Health Transformation Working Group published its Comprehensive Plan for Mental Health, 2011 Action Plan Update on September 30, 2010. Let’s see what they did with your money:

  • They incorporated a non-profit agency and appointed a board of directors.
  • They sponsored a banquet for fund raising.
  • They held a conference for consumers of mental health services.
  • They created a new website to promote their activities.
  • They trained some people on mental health in early childhood education.
  • They pushed a program called Positive Behavior Support into 597 schools.
  • They expanded the number of older adults eligible for mental health treatment for depression.
  • They added a new Medicaid mental health billing code for Federally Qualified Health Centers.
  • They worked on electronic claims reporting systems for Medicaid.
  • They trained some people in Motivational Enhancement Therapy.
  • They trained some people on how to access their mental health services.
  • They conducted some surveys and gathered some statistics about people’s quality of life.

Are you seeing the pattern here yet? I’m going to shout it out:




We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: the real problem, the one that this “transformation” program does not address, is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness”, and stigmatize unwanted behavior or study problems as “diseases.”

Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax – unscientific, fraudulent and harmful. All psychiatric treatments, not just psychiatric drugs, are dangerous.

People can have problems in life; these are not, however, some mental illness caused by a deficiency of psychotropic drugs in their brains. There are workable alternatives to harmful psychiatric drugs and treatments.

Find Out!

Fight Back!

Write your state and local legislators and officials now, today, and demand that funding for fraudulent and harmful psychiatric practices be stopped.

Antidepressants often used for no valid reason

Research published January 25, 2011 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (“Antidepressant Use in the Absence of Common Mental Disorders in the General Population”) concludes that “antidepressant use among individuals without psychiatric diagnoses is common in the United States,” and these drugs are more likely to have been prescribed by family doctors than by psychiatrists.

Reuters picked up the story and said that “more than a quarter of people in the United States who take antidepressants have never been diagnosed with any of the conditions the drugs are typically used to treat.”

At $10 billion per year, the sale of antidepressants is a major contributor to the high cost of health care insurance. As these drugs often have devastating side effects, they are calculated to create patients-for-life; more and more health care is needed to combat these side effects, while the original symptoms for which they may have been prescribed go undiagnosed and untreated.

The New York Times says (March 5, 2011) that “Talk Doesn’t Pay, So Psychiatry Turns to Drug Therapy.” “Psychiatric hospitals that once offered patients months of talk therapy now discharge them within days with only pills. … A psychiatrist can earn $150 for three 15-minute medication visits compared with $90 for a 45-minute talk therapy session.” Yet, “Recent studies suggest that talk therapy may be as good as or better than drugs in the treatment of depression.”

Sure, people can have difficult problems in their lives, and at times they can be mentally unstable, subject to unreasonable depression, anxiety or panic. Mental health care is therefore both valid and necessary. However, the emphasis must be on workable mental healing methods that improve and strengthen individuals and thereby society by restoring people to personal strength, ability, competence, confidence, stability, responsibility and spiritual well-being. Psychiatric drugs and psychiatric treatments are not workable.

Find out more about psychiatric drug side effects by clicking here.

For the next few days in St. Louis, you have a unique opportunity to find out about these issues. Visit the Psychiatry: An Industry of Death international touring exhibit before it leaves town. The last day for free tours is Saturday, March 12.