Day in and day out children in foster care are given psychotropic medications to cure or stabilize mental health disorders. As an illustration, I was once a victim of psychotropic medication while being placed in foster care at the age of thirteen. At that time I was happy and joyful even though I had a very unfortunate childhood. Depression increased over time due to the death of my mother; I was given strong medications known as Risperidone, Prozac,Thorazine, and Seroquel. At first I was taking the medication as directed by a psychiatrist with no side effects for a few weeks. A month came by and the side effects of medication slowly took over my body and mind.

Unfortunately youth are moved from placement to placement and introduced to medications in order to control behavioral issues. Instead of recognizing issues of trauma, they are being over-diagnosed with mental health illnesses. For the most part, all of this victimization that happened to myself and many others in America could have been prevented with proper knowledge of psychotropic medication. Instead of consuming the dangerous medications, parents/guardians should first seek counseling and truly address the cause of any depression or mental disorder. Under those circumstances, adolescents and parents would benefit more because they are informed and parents would be more comfortable giving their children psychotropic medications.

Some people are one hundred percent against psychotropics because one small consumption of psychotropics can unleash long lasting effects such as irritability, shaking at night, feeling nauseous throughout the day and last but not least frequent loss of appetite. Those are some of the few but common side effects I experienced while under influence of the mind altering candy they call "psychotropics." During that time I faced numerous issues. For instance I was unable to concentrate in school and unable to create or maintain healthy relationships with peers and adults. As a result of this I was left to struggle for months in everyday activities like academics and sports.

It is extremely risky to make up any policy and have it enforced the next day without proper knowledge of solutions/alternatives, revision, and finalization. So why do we have children taking medication that is potentially harming them when there is alternatives with better outcomes. For instance cognitive therapy has shown to be more effective than medication by 60%, and children in foster care are more likely to have a optimistic point of view when engaged in therapy.

All in all, the Food & Drug Administration and prescribers should be monitored when prescribing or authorizing psychotropic drugs that are being given to children in foster care.

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Author: Diego Sanchez, 2013 AllStar

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