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Congressman decries ‘overuse’ of psychotropic drugs on children

Michelle Fields Contributor

Rep. Jim McDermott said Tuesday that there is “a lot of overuse” and “bad use” of psychotropic drugs by doctors and foster parents treating foster children in the United States.

Speaking at a press event with the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, McDermott, who is a psychiatrist, explained that an alarming amount of foster children are given psychotropic drugs, paid for by the federal government, simply because their carers “want kids to be quiet.”

Psychotropic drugs are characterized as altering brain function and include stimulants, depressants and hallucinogens.

“The question that has to be raised then … who has the ability to make informed consent? … Is it the worker in the Department of Children’s Services, is it the foster parents — who is it?”

McDermott added that the Congressional Caucus wants states to “look at what they’re doing with the money we’re sending them.”

Rep. Michele Bachmann spoke about the harmful effect that psychotropic drugs have on children. Bachmann, who was a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, has raised 23 foster kids.

“We know the use of psychotropic drugs on a child’s body is very serious, it has serious side effects and serious ramifications. … We also know that numerous studies that have come out show that they’re are numerous levels of psychotropic drugs that are assigned to children in foster care and used by them. We don’t know for what period of time… but we know that they can have long term implications.” (RELATED: Bachmann goes out on a limb with HPV vaccine claims)

Videography by Sarah Hofmann

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