This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” at noon Thursday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.
In recent years, 30% of Missouri youth in foster care or group homes have been estimated to be on psychotropic drugs of some sort — nearly twice the national average for kids that age. Many are on multiple drugs. And often, powerful drugs have been used to treat conditions like ADHD and conduct disorders, even though the Federal Drug Administration hasn’t approved them for that use.
Two years ago, a class action lawsuit aimed to change the way Missouri foster kids are medicated. Filed by the St. Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics in conjunction with nonprofit children’s advocacy groups and the Morgan, Lewis & Bockius law firm, the suit charged that anti-psychotic medications were being overprescribed, wrongly used and badly monitored. In some cases, it alleged, that use left children with consequences that could shape their health for a lifetime.
On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, we’ll discuss the settlement agreement in the case, which recently became final. John Amman, who ran the St. Louis University Legal Clinics until his recent retirement, will provide legal perspective, while former court-appointed special advocate Kris Dadant will talk about her role as one of the lead plaintiffs.
Joining the discussion will be Dr. Katie Plax. She is the medical director of the SPOT, or Supporting Positive Opportunities with Teens. It’s a program that aims to address the health risks facing St. Louis-area youth.
Have a question or comment about the use of psychotropic drugs on foster kids? Tweet us (@STLonAir), send an email to email@example.com or share your thoughts via our St. Louis on the Air Facebook group, and help inform our coverage.
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Tonina Saputo. The engineer is Aaron Doerr and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.
Send questions and comments about this story to firstname.lastname@example.org.