“I had nowhere to go. Like I was stuck. Like I couldn’t move. Like I felt like I was so drowsy, I couldn’t even wake up,” 15-year-old Sophia said of her medications.
Sophia was taking about 12 pills daily, including Lithium and Adderall. Court Appointed Special Advocate Michelle Lobato became concerned about Sophia’s health and intervened to get her a different medical staff and an alternative treatment. After a medical evaluation, doctors discovered she had toxic levels of medications in her body.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report that shows a child in foster care is 4.5 times more likely to be prescribed psychotropic than a child who is not in foster care. See Sophia’s story as reported on KRDO >
National CASA Blog: The Wrong Prescription: Psychotropic Medications and Foster Youth
To learn more about this issue, listen to the National CASA podcast from January 2011, “The Diagnosis and the Drug: Use of Psychotropic Medication in the Foster Care System.” In this podcast, Stephen McCrea, CASA Supervisor with CASA for Children in Portland, OR, talks about the history of mental health treatment of foster youth including the introduction of psychotropic medications, their use now and what a CASA/GAL volunteer should know when working with medicated youth. Before working with the CASA program, McCrea was a crisis counselor and a residential counselor for youth.