Joshua Allen Online

The Business Of Child Abuse: The Good, The Bad, The Corruption

A Readers Thoughts and Criticisms Regarding the Below Piece on Medication

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A Readers Thoughts and Criticisms Regarding the Below Piece on Medication

The Business of Child Abuse

I received a critique on my most recent piece regarding medication and foster children.  Rather than include this under “comments,” I thought them important and deserving enough for their own post.

I have permission from the unnamed writer to paraphrase and combine a number of thoughts.  My own answers to these succinct criticisms are in paragraphs within the piece.

The author makes a number of important points and asks a very good question regarding the suicide of Jorge Tarin, the 11-year-old who hanged himself after several contacts with DCFS and mental health workers.

Below is the combination and paraphrase of these comments.

Joshua Allen       K8WGS6KDV2K8


A subject like psychotropic is quite complicated and has many, many entangled issues.  Once a foster child is on a psychotropic, they are on it forever because there is very little follow-up. (Well sometimes…)

Psychotropic medication has serious side-effects that no one talks about, especially for children in which there have been no long-term follow-up studies.

If a child is depressed because he gets placed in foster care and then gets prescribed an antidepressant, how long does he stay on it?  How long does a kid stay on Ritalin?  These drugs and the assumptions underlying their usage dictate that one is on them forever. (Well I’m not sure about that…)

There is also the issue that ALL prescribed medications, particularly psychotropic, robs your body of nutrients and is highly acidic.

The Psychotropic Medication Desk is “manned” by a psychiatrist who reviews all requested authorization for appropriateness.

He or she then sends it to the court for approval if they feel it is appropriate, i.e., that what they put on the request makes medical sense.

If the reviewing psychiatrist approves it, the judge always approves it.  You made it sound like the judge approves all psychotropic medications prescribed by a physician (psychiatrist or otherwise).  (Guilty, oops)

I have seen, but only rarely, a request sent back from the Desk to the prescribing physician for clarification and–in one case–for refusal.

There is a key issue you neglected.  All psychotropic medication is approved for adult use.  But physicians have the privilege of ( Note from Joshua Allen:  I did touch on this with regards to the psychiatrist prescribing a mixture of Seroquel and Abilify see first paragraph below) prescribing for “off-label” usage.

This is where the abuse comes in.  They (psychiatrists) are experimenting with children, some as young as 2 and 3 with this stuff.  And while you touched on it, most of these doctors never interview or observe the child; they just go on what an adult (social worker, foster parent, and teacher) tells them.

You also neglected to mention the mismanagement of psychotropic, the “skull and cross-bones” that have been implemented for some usage, e.g., the warning about suicide rates from prescribing antidepressants when used by teenagers.

Foster kids get moved around so much and lose their medications in their moves.  Sudden stoppage brings about depression and suicidal thoughts–sometimes leading to suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Was the kid that hanged himself (Jorge Tarin) with the jump rope on psychotropic?

(Darn good question!)

Was he prescribed them in the past?  How long ago and how many times?


Written by joshuaallenonline

September 1, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Commentary immediately brought to mind the story of a teen named Kyle Young who died. While this tragic story goes back a few years, it tends to high-light a number of problematic issues that present repeatedly within the culture of Child Protective Services & the Justice System, as well, the Medical Community:

    The teen, who at just 16 years of age, died within custody of Authorities. The victim was a child with developmental delays who required potent medications – Prozac and Respiradol – yet, had no access to these drugs for 2 weeks prior to his death. Youth with such diagnoses are far too often, those who are most vulnerable to events of self-destruction or abuse by others. Individuals who do not present with disability outwardly, but with invisible developmental disorders, are none-the-less prone potently damaging outcome unless recipients of guidance and support. It seems to me that this ‘kid’ not only fell to his death, but sadly was slipping unmercifully through “the cracks” well before the ordeal. And, as the commentator mentioned, ceasing pyschotrophic medications suddenly can be tremendously difficult for a body to process.


    Edmonton prisoner needed pills prior to guard scuffle and fatal elevator fall

    JOHN COTTER, June 14, 2005

    EDMONTON (CP) – A teen prisoner who fell to his death down a courthouse elevator shaft after tussling with guards had not taken his medication for severe behavioural problems for two weeks, a nurse told an inquiry Tuesday.

    Sherri Roles was a psychiatric nurse at the Edmonton Young Offender Centre when Kyle Young, 16, was admitted on Jan. 19, 2004, after being arrested by police. Roles testified she met with the boy to determine if he was a suicide risk or posed a threat to other inmates.

    “Kyle was very co-operative and calm and participated in the interview,” she said. Roles noted the youth said he was doing well and seemed to accept his situation.

    The nurse said she asked if he was on medication. Young replied he had been prescribed Prozac and Respiradol for anger and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The boy then told her he didn’t have any medication with him and hadn’t taken any of his pills for two weeks.

    “He definitely needed a new prescription,” Roles said. She booked him for an appointment with a staff psychiatrist to obtain the medication.

    The appointment was made for the morning of Jan. 22, but he never made it. That was the day Young, who was shackled and wearing handcuffs, was removed from a cell at the courthouse by two guards because he was acting up.

    The guards, both over six feet tall and each weighing more than 200 pounds, have testified the boy fell five storeys down the shaft after they pressed him against an elevator door and it popped off its tracks.

    On Monday, Young’s mother testified her son was like any other normal teenager when he took his pills. She said he had been on medication for behavioural problems since he was six year old.
    But when he didn’t take his medication, he could “flip out” and would swear, throw things and show disrespect to authority figures, Lorena Young said.

    She said Roles’ testimony reinforces what she has always known.

    “I’m just glad that we found out that Kyle was not on his medication as a fact, not just as the family knowing,” she said outside court.

    “Now everybody knows because the lady said so.”

    On Monday Young also testified that staff at the young offenders centre told her that her son wasn’t allowed to receive medication from his family.

    Roles said that wasn’t true.

    The nurse also testified she classified the youth as stable with no need for mental health checks.
    Earlier Tuesday, Don Livingstone, a supervisor at the centre, testified Young was held in a special security cell the day before he died following a dispute with a staff member.

    Staff ordered Young to strip and wear a garment, known as “baby dolls,” that was used for young offenders thought to be a suicide risk, Livingstone said. Inmate slang for the garment was “wearing a dress.”

    Livingstone testified the Alberta government has since discontinued the use of such garments.
    Lorena Young and her lawyer contend it was lack of proper medication that was responsible for her son acting up the day he died.

    Toxicology tests performed after the boy’s death were inconclusive.

    His mother has said she hopes the inquiry, headed by provincial court Judge Jerry LeGrandeur, will determine if excessive force was used by the guards and if the elevator door was defective.

    A review by Alberta’s Justice Department last year said guards used “a modest amount of restraint” and followed “normal procedures” with Young.

    Public fatality inquiries establish the cause, manner, time and other circumstances of a death. They do not determine legal responsibility but may offer recommendations to prevent future deaths.

    Guard details concerns over elevator death
    Last Updated: Friday, January 14, 2005

    CBC News

    The mysterious letter that earlier this week briefly halted an inquiry into how a 16-year-old fell down an elevator shaft to his death came from a courthouse guard who repeated his startling allegations Thursday.

    John Tomaino told the fatality inquiry that police were not called for a half an hour after he heard Kyle Young plunge down the shaft at the Edmonton courthouse on Jan. 22, 2004.

    He also said a photographer showed up to record the scene moments after Young fell five storeys, before police arrived and before anyone knew whether the teenager was still alive.

    Tomaino testified that when he told his supervisor that the unidentified photographer might have contaminated the death scene, he was told to keep his concerns to himself.

    FROM JAN. 23, 2004: Alberta promises answers on how teen in custody fell to death in elevator shaft

    He speculated in court that the photographer might have worked for either the provincial government or the elevator company.

    No photographs have ever surfaced publicly showing the scene of Young’s death before the police arrived.

    Young was in the courthouse for an appearance on a weapons charge, and was wearing handcuffs and leg shackles when he started threatening and spitting at the guards escorting him back to a holding cell, Tomaino said.

    He also testified that the elevator door that was knocked off its track as two other guards tried to restrain Young had come loose at least twice before, about two years before Young’s death. He said he didn’t know what steps had been taken to fix it.

    Tomaino quit his job in November, then wrote Alberta’s solicitor general to outline his concerns about Young’s death.

    FROM JAN. 13, 2005: Mysterious letter halts elevator death inquiry

    That’s the letter that inquiry counsel David Syme submitted Wednesday to Judge Jerry LeGrandeur, who is presiding over the inquiry.

    Syme said he had been made aware of the letter over the weekend.

    LeGrandeur agreed to a request from a lawyer for the other guards to halt the proceedings so that the lawyer could discuss the letter’s contents with his clients.

    Young’s mother, Lorena Young, left the courtroom in tears Thursday after hearing Tomaino’s testimony, which she called courageous.

    “Because of his testimony and the things he has revealed, I believe there is one giant cover-up here,” she said. “Somebody is hiding something.”

    In July, Alberta’s Justice Department announced that there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone in connection with Young’s death, based on an investigation done by Edmonton police homicide detectives.

    A fatality inquiry is automatic whenever someone dies in custody in the province of Alberta.

    Velvet Martin

    September 2, 2010 at 11:02 am

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