Florida has plied children in state juvenile jails with heavy doses of powerful antipsychotic medications.
The pills, widely viewed as the “big guns” of psychiatry, can cause suicidal thoughts and other dangerous side effects.
Yet, in state-run jails and residential programs, antipsychotics were among the top drugs bought for kids – and they routinely were doled out for reasons that never were approved by federal regulators, a Palm Beach Post investigation has found.
Reacting to the newspaper’s findings, the head of Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice ordered a sweeping review of the department’s use of antipsychotic medications. As it stands now, DJJ doesn’t track prescriptions and has no way of telling whether doctors are putting kids on pills simply to make them easier to control.