Kids in Georgia’s Foster Care System May Be Over-Medicated For Behavioral Issues

Many children in foster care come from broken homes with abusive parents. Neglect can result in behavioral problems in kids, which may lead physicians to prescribe medications to help guardians manage the conditions. However, over-prescribing is becoming a common theme in foster children, according to the Georgia Business News.

Advocates for the proper care of foster children recently drafted a bill, asking lawmakers to regulate how much medication is given to children with behavioral problems. Half of the teenagers in foster care in Georgia are taking at least one psychotropic drug, while approximately 33 percent take an anti-psychotic regularly.

Barton Child Law and Policy Center at Emory University representative, Melissa Carter, told the news source that prescription drugs are not only dangerous, but costly. Medicaid bills for over-prescribing medication cost the state money that they might be able to use to make other improvements.

In 2008, the United States spent more than $234 billion on prescription drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is double the amount the country spent in 1999, highlighting the increase in over-prescribed medication in recent years.