Working as a volunteer in child protection services as a guardian ad-Litem, about half the children in my case load were proscribed psychotropic medications without effective therapy (some as young as 7).
Today’s 3 Billion Dollar fine of GlaxoSmithKline for hiding information, bribing doctors, & promoting unapproved (and dangerous) drugs to children, included criminal as well as civil settlements is a snapshot of what’s wrong with mental health services for abused & neglected children. Just a few months ago Abbott Laboratories paid 1.6 billion dollars for off label marketing its antipsychotic drug Risperdal. Glaxo was sued in 2004 by New York State over Paxil’s criminal marketing of psychotropics.
Hennepin County Judge Heidi Schellhas shared a list she kept of psychotropically medicated children that passed through her courtroom in child protective services over a one year period. The list was staggering (some as young as 5).
For those of you unfamiliar with suicidal ideation resulting from the use of psychotropic medication, please take a moment and visualize what it might be like for a frightened, very young child, taken from her home because of terrible abuse, all alone and very afraid.
There is no one she can turn to, no way she will understand the events taking place, and now she may be forced to take psychotropic medications so that the people caring for her with find her easier to deal with.
My first visit to her was at the suicide ward of Fairview hospital (she was 4) and she really did not want to be here (here as in anywhere on this earth).
I have written about the 7 year old foster child that hung himself and left a note about his hatred of Prozac & Jeff Weiss at Red Lake. Suicidal ideation is a common side effect of many of these drugs. It’s horrifyingly real and completely uncontrollable – I have had the experience.
What has been happening at GlaxoSmithKline and other giant pharmaceutical companies has now been found to be a criminal act. This is no small finding;
3 Million children / year are reported to child protection agencies in the U.S. About 1/3 of the children in child protection services are placed on psychotropic medications (children in child protection services suffer from PTSD at twice the rate soldiers returning from Iraq / Afghanistan do).
Promoting more and better mental health services to troubled youth will empty our jails*, our schools would graduate many more students, and our streets would be safer.
*Why do the criminals at GlaxoSmithKline not do jail time?
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