Lots in the news of late about over medicating foster children with psychotropic medications. Here is one story. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/01/us-report-foster-kids-get_n_1123888.html
Given the title of the blog, I should weight in here. I have never had a child take 5 or more psychotropic medications. Never. I have never had a pediatrician medicate a child with psychotropics. I have had some very bad doctors/nurse practitioners trained in the field of psychiatry. My kids have been on everything from Depok0te to Ab!lify to L!th!um. For some, the medications worked due to a diagnosis. My youth diagnosed with bipolar cannot function in a home setting without mood stabilizers. Often, the youth I've had with mood disorders do end up in group homes or other more restricted living situations due to their lack of appropriate behaviors. It is not possible to safely live with someone that smashes windows, threatens with knives and prowls all night. These things have happened numerous times in our home.
I absolutely believe that psychotropics do help children with diagnosed disorders to function responsibly in our society. I would never give medications to a child, youth or young adult without a psychiatrist medicating according to diagnosis and symptoms.
Lexy has gotten into all sorts of hot water over the years. As a young adult, Lexy has been admitted to the psychiatric hospital many times. She has been made to live in-patient at lock down facilities. Never while our responsibility as our child. Lots of horrible situations. While at home for most of her childhood, Lexy was never medicated with anything more than Omega-3 and 5HtP. The goal of her providers, once a young adult and seeking help, was to medicate her at all costs. Lexy is very head strong and intelligent. She absolutely refused medications at all turns except for a brief stint on an SSRI. That caused more hyperactivity was soon discontinued at her request.
I know from this multiple year long escapade that horrible people can and do medicate for all of the wrong reasons. Lexy escaped without a lengthy medication history. Her ADHD causes enormous disorganization for her. A medication for ADHD may have helped to focus her brain. I don't know. We never tried that route with her. Her other issues were so overpowering when she came to live with us. She was a young adult by the time much of the trauma healed, so we could see the real organic brain issues.
It is hard to sort through psychotropic medications. They are an absolute NEED for many children. Their diagnoses demand medications. Most NEED long-term commitments from caring adults to help with their traumatized brains.