In response to reports that children in Florida’s foster care system are being put on psychotropic medications without caregivers following proper procedures and that 11 percent of the children in foster care have active prescriptions for at least one psychotropic drug, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a non-profit mental health watchdog dedicated to the protection of children, is calling upon officials to investigate and take action.
Following the review of 140 children’s files the research arm of Florida’s child-protection system released a report in 2015 revealing that just 20 percent of these children met all the key requirements for administering psychotropic medication. 
Three years later the story hasn’t changed much with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General releasing a report in 2018 showing that one in three children in foster care who were treated with psychotropic medications did not receive required treatment planning or medication monitoring. 
The psychiatric drugging of children is not just confined to the foster care system. In 2011 a two-year investigation concluded that kids in Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Texas were “prescribed psychotropic drugs at rates 2.7 to 4.5 times higher than other children in Medicaid in 2008. 
Today in the United States approximately 7.2 million children between the ages of 0 to 17 are using prescription psychiatric drugs, and almost half of them are on drugs due to being labeled with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This labeling represents a billing code that has come under increasing criticism for diagnosing normal childhood behavior as a “mental disorder”.
The psychostimulant, methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, is one of the drugs prescribed to children who have been labeled as ADHD and comes with such side effects as nervousness, agitation, anxiety as well as psychosis. Methylphenidate is a Schedule II drug, which means the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies it as having a high potential for abuse. At the same time, the DEA warns that methylphenidate produces many of the same effects as cocaine and that psychotic episodes and severe psychological addiction have all been associated with methylphenidate use. 
As a result, CCHR is calling for an investigation into the psychiatric drugging of children in the United States and is asking that officials take effective action to stop this human rights abuse.
“Study after study continues to come to the same conclusion, children are being prescribed dangerous psychotropic medication, sometimes multiple drugs at once, and safeguards are not in place to protect these children,” said Diane Stein president of CCHR Florida. “The failure to protect all children, and especially those in the foster care system, needs to be investigated and effective action taken.”
As part of a campaign to bring awareness to this situation, the Florida chapter of CCHR hosts regular seminars at their headquarters in downtown Clearwater where concerned individuals can learn more about psychiatric drug dangers. Delivered by Jason Good, the public executive of a successful drug rehabilitation center, attendees are educated on drug side effects and Mr. Good, speaks of his personal experience being labeled with ADHD as a child, which began with a prescription for Ritalin and ended with illegal street drug use and narcotics addiction at the age of 15. To learn more or to reserve seats at the next seminar please call 727-442-8820.
About CCHR: Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHR’s mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, first brought psychiatric imprisonment to wide public notice: “Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the ‘free world’ tortured, castrated, killed. All in the name of ‘mental health,’” he wrote in March 1969. For more information visit www.cchrflorida.org
Release ID: 481908